Schoolboy on USAF hacking charges

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The Independent Online
TIM KELSEY

An 18-year-old schoolboy appeared before Bow Street magistrates yesterday charged with unlawfully gaining access to a series of American defence computers.

Richard Pryce, who was 16 at the time of the alleged offences, is accused of accessing key US Air Force systems and a network owned by Lockheed, the missile and aircraft manufacturers.

Mr Pryce, of Colindale, north- west London, who did not enter a plea on any of the 12 specimen charges brought against him, was remanded on bail to 11 September. He was charged under the Computer Misuse Act, which allows for the prosecution of hackers even if the machine they have infiltrated is not in the UK.

He was arrested this year by British police after a 13-month search by specialist USAF investigators. He is alleged to have used a home computer to gain access to a USAF computer on which were stored messages from American agents in North Korea at the time of the nuclear crisis last year.

US authorities logged 69 security breaches and said they were among the most serious they had experienced and had compromised several systems.

In a second case heard yesterday, a former hotel reservations clerk was accused of subverting the computer system belonging to the multi-national Marriott chain, stealing pounds 11,000 and causing pounds 130,000 damage.

Aleric Owen Linden, of Sheffield, was remanded on bail until 1 August by Bow Street magistrates.

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