Two charged for hacking into computer systems of government agencies because “we can”
TULSA, Okla. – The United States charged two men for a massive conspiracy, which involved hacking into the computer systems of over 30 public and private organizations.
Some of those organizations included the United States Navy and National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.
Officials allege 27-year-old Nicholas Paul Knight and 20-year-old Daniel Trenton Krueger conspired to hack computers and computer systems as part of a plan to steal identities, obstruct justice and damage a protected computer.
“The Navy quickly identified the breach and tracked down the alleged culprits through their online activity, revealing an extensive computer hacking scheme committed across the country and even abroad,” said U.S. Attorney Danny C. Williams. “We aggressively pursue individuals who steal personal information, especially when they victimize the men and women who bravely defend our country and our Constitution.”
In 2012, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service detected a breach of the U.S. Navy’s Smart Web Move database.
The database was used to manage transfers for service members of all branches of the military.
It also stored Social Security numbers, names and dates of birth on servers in Tulsa.
Records allege that Knight, Krueger and other Team Digi7al co-conspirators hacked the computer systems of over 30 public and private organizations to steal sensitive information.
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
Allegations say Knight served as the criminal organization’s self-proclaimed leader, while Krueger participated in the hacking “out of boredom.”
One conspirator says the group wanted to make the private information public because it was “fun, and we can.”
At the time of the attacks, Knight was an active duty enlisted Navy member assigned to the nuclear aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman.
He was a systems administrator in the nuclear reactor department.
Krueger was a student at an Illinois community college.
If convicted, they could face five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, in addition to paying restitution to the victims of the crime.