Lauri Love: vicar's son held over 'massive' hacking spree
Experts say US will try to extradite 28-yr-old who is accused of stealing data from Nasa and US Army
LAURI LOVE, a vicar's son from a village in Suffolk, has been charged with stealing thousands of computer files from the US government. Experts believe his activity constitutes the most serious computer hacking case to date and say the US will push for his extradition, The Times reports.
It is alleged that 28-year-old Love was part of an international group of hackers who stole "massive amounts" of information from organisations including the US Army, the Department of Defence and Nasa. The intruders also caused millions of dollars of damage to computer systems, it is alleged.
Prosecutors say the attacks started in October last year. They believe Love worked with two hackers in Australia and one in Sweden, but they have not been named or charged.
The Times says the charges come at an interesting time given the allegations made by whistleblower Edward Snowden about US spying in Europe. The US is expected to seek Love's extradition, the paper says, a move that would "strain relations with Washington at a time of heightened sensitivity over the security of intelligence material and the appropriate punishments for those who compromise it".
The paper also points out that Home Secretary Theresa May recently quashed a US request to extradite British computer hacker Gary McKinnon. The family of the 46-year-old, who suffers from Asperger's syndrome, spent ten years fighting efforts to send him to the US to face trial.
McKinnon was accused of hacking into 97 military and Nasa computers over a 13-month period in 2001 and 2002. Experts believe the alleged activities of Love and his group are "more serious". They are accused of exploiting weaknesses in the defences of government networks and leaving "back doors" through which they could return to steal sensitive data.
Love was held under the Computer Misuse Act yesterday and has been released on bail until February. The act allows people to be arrested for launching attacks from Britain on computers anywhere in the world.
Love told the Times: "I can't say anything right now. I only just got home after being at government headquarters today. I don't even know what's happening myself to be honest, I need to call my lawyers." ·