A former sailor assigned to a US nuclear aircraft carrier and another man have been charged with hacking the computer systems of 30 public and private organizations, including the US Navy, the Department of Homeland Security, AT&T, and Harvard University.
Nicholas Paul Knight, 27, of Chantilly, VA, and Daniel Trenton Krueger, 20, of Salem, IL, were members of a crew that hacked protected computers as part of a scheme to steal personal identities and obstruct justice, according to a criminal complaint unsealed earlier this week in a US District Court in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The gang, which went by the name Team Digi7al, allegedly took to Twitter to boast of the intrusions and publicly disclose sensitive data that was taken. The hacking spree lasted from April 2012 to June 2013, prosecutors said.
At the time of the alleged hacks, Knight was an active duty enlisted member of the Navy assigned to the nuclear aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman, prosecutors said. He worked as a systems administrator in the carrier’s nuclear reactor department. He is accused of conducting some of his unlawful hacking while aboard. The “self-professed leader of Team Digi7al [and] the primary publicist and Twitter poster,” Knight was discharged after trying to hack into a Navy database while at sea, according to court documents. There are no allegations that he hacked any of the carrier’s systems. Krueger, meanwhile, was a student studying network administration at an Illinois community college. The two men were allegedly aided by three unnamed minors who were not charged in the complaint.
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