I-Team: Illinois student accused in hacking scheme targeting US Navy, colleges, corporations

Federal authorities have charged an Illinois college student in a hacking scheme that targeted the U.S. Navy, as well as major U.S. companies and colleges. (WLS)
May 8, 2014 4:28:12 PM PDT
There are federal hacking charges in a scheme that targeted major companies and colleges, and one of those charged is an Illinois college student.

For two years, there was a mysterious hacking scheme underway that had confounded federal authorities. On Thursday, they have charged an Illinois college student and an ex-Naval administrator with charges that could land them both in prison. The case is being prosecuted out of Tulsa, Oklahoma, because that is where the Navy computers servers are located that were among those they broke into.

This is the USS Harry Truman, a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. Federal authorities say the mastermind of the hacking scheme was serving as a Naval administrator on this ship at the time he and a friend are accused of electronically infiltrating dozens of major corporate and educational institutions.

According to this federal hacking indictment, the friend who actually did the technical work was Daniel Krueger, a 20-year-old from downstate Salem. The Navy man was 27-year-old Nicholas Knight, from Chantilly, Virginia. They formed a hacking team that broke into 30 public and private organizations, including the US Navy.

Krueger was a student at this downstate community college and a member of a college tech team that recently won awards at a state competition. He grew up in this small town, the seat of Marion County.

Krueger, a coin collector who's Facebook profile picture is an old dime, got involved in the hacking scheme according to federal agents because he was bored. But they say when he thought Naval investigators were onto him, he tried to delete the scheme. Authorities say it didn't work.

The I-Team couldn't reach either of the men charged and court records don't list lawyers for them. The victims in this include more than 200,000 members of the U.S. military whose personal records were stolen. For a time, some American sailors overseas were unable to even access their data. It took the Navy months and $500,000 to fix the hack job.

The victims included the following organizations:
U.S. Navy
U.S. National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
AT&T U-verse
Harvard University
Johns Hopkins University
Library of Congress
Los Alamos National Laboratory
Louisville University
MeTV Network
Montgomery Police Department (Alabama)
Peruvian Ambassador's email (in Bolivia)
San Jose State University
Stanford University
Toronto Police Service (Canada)
Ultimate Car Page
University of Alabama
University of British Columbia (Canada)
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
World Health Organization

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