Big Hack Attack Suspect: I'm Staying Put

hackers cybercrime computer crime
A British man indicted in the United States for allegedly hacking into U.S. military and space agency computers will fight extradition, his lawyer said Wednesday.

Gary McKinnon, 36, of London, was indicted in Virginia and New Jersey on eight counts of computer-related crimes, including break-ins at 92 U.S. military and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) networks. McKinnon was also accused of hacking the networks of six private companies and organizations.

McKinnon's lawyer, Karen Todner, said the Crown Prosecution Service could charge and try McKinnon in his own country.

"However, they have chosen not to pursue this course of action and are allowing the American authorities to apply for the extradition of a British citizen," Todner said.

"We can only presume that the motivation is political and that it is proposed to make an example of Mr. McKinnon.

"We shall oppose any extradition application in connection with our client.

"We also wish to emphasize on behalf of Mr. McKinnon that he has no terrorist links whatsoever."

McKinnon, an unemployed computer administrator, was arrested by officers from the National Crime Squad's Hi-Tech Crime Unit in March after NASA identified him as a suspected hacker.

He was released on bail, questioned in August and released again.

"As the investigation progressed, a decision was made that the U.S. authorities would bring any prosecution," Todner said.

There was no sign of McKinnon Wednesday at his home in north London.