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1 Case Study 1: Gary McKinnon Case Study 1: Gary McKinnon CCJS 390 Course Hero: ZSCANT 5 April 2020
2 Case Study 1: Gary McKinnon Case Summary America today is reliant upon information technologies unlike any era ever before. Industry, Government, and citizens' daily lives revolve around Internet access, technological devices, networks, and data. Along with the growth of these amazing technologies has been an exponential increase in cyber threats and attacks. This document will serve as an examination of the past actions of United Kingdom hacker Gary McKinnon. The impact of the intrusions he made as well as the motivations that lead to his actions will be explored. Additionally, the cyber- crime theory that McKinnon closest resembles will be defined. Finally, best practice recommendations will be examined so that future similar vulnerabiities can be prevented. Background Gary McKinnon was an unemployed United Kingdom systems administrator in 2002. The 36-year-old Scottish male was obsessed with Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs) which took up a large majority of his free time. From a young age, McKinnon was fascinated with outer space and chose seclusion over making friends. Rather than playing outside with neighbors, McKinnon would beg to stay indoors and read literature about space. In his teenage years, McKinnon began learning how to code video games. Coding skills turned into computer hacking later in life after McKinnon read the infamous Hacker’s Handbook. One large motivating factor throughout his whole life remained his interest in space and obsession with UFOs. (Kushner, 2011)
3 Case Study 1: Gary McKinnon Unbelievably Gary McKinnon's perceived extreme yet harmless interest and yearning for UFO proof caused one of the most devastating international cyber-attacks that America has ever faced. The results of the successful attacks McKinnon was able to conduct is almost hard to believe. Between 2001-2002 McKinnon hacked into approximately 97 US government computers, disabled 300 computers at a Naval Weapons Station, and shut down the entire Washington DC military network of around 2,000 computers for 24 hours. What followed was a decade long extradition battle between the United Kingdom and America. The following is a summary of the extradition timeline which does not cover the entirety of the proceedings but rather highlights the more important aspects (GUARDIAN, 2012): 2002: United Kingdom’s Hi-Tech Crime Unit arrests and questions McKinnon. 2005: McKinnon is arrested in the United Kingdom. 2006: Order is signed for McKinnon to be extradited to the United States. 2007: McKinnon appeals the extradition ruling but loses.

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