Feds Indict Alleged Cisco, NASA Hacker

Swedish man known as "Stakkato" accused of stealing Cisco IOS code

Dark Reading Staff, Dark Reading

May 8, 2009

1 Min Read

A federal grand jury has indicted a Swedish man for allegedly hacking into networks at Cisco Systems and NASA.

According to news reports, Philip Gabriel Pettersson, a 21-year-old man known as "Stakkato," faces five counts of intrusion and trade secret theft. He's accused of stealing programming information.

Each count of intrusion and theft of trade secrets carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine.

The indictment alleges that on two occasions, Pettersson unlawfully gained access to computers at the Ames Research Center and the NASA Advanced Supercomputing Division at Moffett Field, Calif. It also accuses him of breaking into the Cisco internal network and stealing some Cisco Internetwork Operating System code.

Reports vary on what precisely Pettersson stole from Cisco, but according to the DOJ statement, the company does "not believe that any customer information, partner information, or financial systems were affected."

Pettersson was convicted and fined by a Swedish court in 2007 for hacking networks at three Swedish universities. At the time, he denied breaching U.S. networks and said the FBI interrogated him in 2006 about the Cisco hack. Both incidents allegedly occurred in 2004.

Sweden won't extradite its citizens to other countries, but it can prosecute citizens on behalf of foreign countries. U.S. prosecutors in San Francisco say they're working with Swedish authorities on the case.

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