For Release
Roberta L. Gross                                               March 1, 2000
Inspector General
(Phone: 202-358-1220)

Samuel A. Maxey
Assistant Inspector General for Investigations
(Phone: 202-358-1233)

Stephen J. Nesbitt
Director of Operations
Computer Crime Division
(Phone: 202-358-2576)

RELEASE:   2000-034

Computer "Hacker" Charged

On February 23, 2000, Ikenna Iffih was charged in a three-count criminal
information filed in U.S. District Court in Boston, MA, for violation of
Title 18, United States Code (USC), Section 2511(1)(a), the illegal
interception and possession of electronic communications transmitted to and
through a United States Government computer; Title 18, USC,
Section 1030(a)(5)(B), the illegal and intentional access and damage of a
computer used in interstate and foreign commerce; and Title 18, USC,
Section 1362, the willful and malicious interference of a working
communications system operated and controlled by the United States
Government.  The three counts combined carry a maximum penalty of 10 years
incarceration and a potential fine of up to $250,000.

Iffih obtained unauthorized access to a dial-up Internet account.  On
April 10 - 11, 1999, Iffih used that account to compromise a Defense
Logistics Agency (DLA) computer in Columbus, OH.  Using the DLA computer,
Iffih illegally accessed a computer owned by the Zebra Marketing Online
Service (ZMOS) in Seattle, WA, and through his allegedly reckless actions,
damaged that computer and caused a significant loss of revenue to ZMOS.  On
May 6, 1999, Iffih illegally accessed a computer located at the Goddard
Space Flight Center (GSFC) in Greenbelt, MD, and used his access to install
a "sniffer" program to view and capture login names and passwords transmitted
on the GSFC network.  Iffih then used the GSFC computer to illegally access
and modify (deface) a Department of the Interior web server on May 31, 1999.

On August 25, 1999 a search warrant was executed at Iffih's residence and
the subsequent forensic examination of Iffih's personal computer revealed
that Iffih had obtained unauthorized access to multiple computers owned and
operated by Northeastern University (NEU), Boston, MA, and was in possession
of personal identifying information on over 9,000 individuals associated with

The investigation was conducted by Special Agents of the NASA Office of
Inspector General, Office of Criminal Investigations, Computer Crime
Division; the Defense Criminal Investigative Service; the Federal Bureau of
Investigation; the U.S. Department of the Interior, Office of Inspector
General; and the Immigration and Naturalization Service, Office of
Investigations.  Assistant United States Attorneys Allison D. Burroughs,
District of Massachusetts, and Stephen C. Schroeder, Western District of
Washington, are handling the prosecution of this matter.


Complaints May Be Referred To The NASA OIG Hotline At:

News Release

National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Office of Inspector General
Washington, DC 20546