Andrew James Miller, a hacker from Pennsylvania, was arrested after trying to sell access to supercomputers located at the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center. His faux pas (aside from, you know, hacking into supercomputers)? The recipient of his hopeful sale was the FBI. Today the hacker has plead guilty.
The supercomputers located at the National Energy computing center are used for Energy Department projects, and Miller claimed he could provide root access to them during a chat he unknowingly held with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The cost of such a hack? $50,000, an amount the FBI never paid to him over the course of their conversation.
According to an indictment filed by the FBI, the hacker is a member of the Underground Intelligence Agency and provided evidence in the form of screenshots to backup his claims. That wasn’t the extent of the evidence against him, however, with the court papers also showing that a different member of the Underground Intelligence Agency, codenamed Intel, helped them with the case.
The hacker managed to get access to these computers by going through a university in Japan that had access, as well as the University of California at Davis and Harvard University. He also claimed to have gained access to servers for WordPress, Google, Adobe, American Express, Yahoo!, some other universities, and more.
While he didn’t receive the $50,000, the hacker was sent $1000 in return for providing the FBI with access to the network of Massachusetts company RNKTel, as well as $1200 for a database containing ISP Layered Tech log in information, and $1000 for access to the domain for Domino’s Pizza. He could spend up to 18 months in prison.