Teen hacker with access to arms lab says cyber pals will avenge raid on his house FBI seized evidence indicating access to Pentagon, Livermore lab

March 05, 1998|By KNIGHT RIDDER/TRIBUNE

CLOVERDALE, Calif. -- A teen-ager whose Sonoma County, Calif., home was raided by FBI agents last week still has secret access to at least 100 government and private sites and claims his cyber pals will start hacking them in retaliation for his treatment by the government and media reports, according to interviews he gave to an online security expert.

One of those sites -- a Santa Rosa, Calif., Internet service provider whose owner had publicly criticized the youth and his alleged accomplice, known as TooShort -- was hacked Tuesday afternoon.

In an online interview with John Vranesevish of http: //www.AntiOnline.com, the youth, who goes by the online name Makaveli, also said the computer equipment seized during the FBI raid contained a list of nearly 200 servers that the teen-agers allegedly hacked, including military sites. He also said agents grilling him seemed particularly interested in break-ins at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories.

The Cloverdale High School sophomore also offered an explanation for his forays: "It's power, dude, you know, power," he told Vranesevish in the interview posted Monday.

The youth also repeatedly referred to a foreign-based master hacker, who tutored him in the illegal arts and whom the FBI is "really after."

Tuesday afternoon, Makaveli's suspected mentor, known as the Analyzer, hacked the Internet home page of Netdex, an Internet service provider in Santa Rosa. The owner, Bill Zane, had helped FBI agents track the two teens last month and had been outspoken in condemning their behavior, even though they use his service.

In his message, Analyzer claimed Makaveli did not hack any of the Department of Defense systems. "If u searching anyone, u should search for me," said the message, which was erased within a couple of hours.

So far, no one has been arrested in what Deputy Defense Secretary John Hamre described last week as "the most organized and systematic attack the Pentagon has seen to date."

An FBI source said Tuesday agents are still looking at other suspects, in addition to the two Cloverdale High sophomores whose homes were raided.

The teen-agers, who don't have driver's licenses yet, were able to penetrate "Army sites, Air Force sites, Pentagon sites," said Zane.

At his Cloverdale home, the boy said he and his classmate worry the district attorney "is going to make an example out of us." He declined an interview, "because my mom said I can't talk about it."

But he directed the reporter to the AntiOnline site, which posted his boastings Monday.

Vranesevish, who runs the site dedicated to computer security issues, describes Makaveli as "a well respected and active member of the hacking underground."

The teen said investigators kept asking him about the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories. "[They] asked me if I read any files on it, or if I gave out any passwords from it to anyone . I told them I may have given it to a friend," he said.

Craig Savoye, a spokesman for the lab, declined to comment in detail on any electronic burglaries at their sites.

But, he said, "After the Pentagon, we're probably one of the top targets in the country, being a weapons lab."

Pub Date: 3/05/98

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