Internet Security Head Accused of Hacking

September 30, 2003

Associated Press

SAN DIEGO - The head of an Internet security company that claimed to have found dangerous loopholes in U.S. military computers has been indicted on charges of hacking government networks for financial gain.  

Brett Edward O'Keefe, 36, was arrested and indicted Monday on six counts of conspiracy to access military, government and private computers, said U.S. Attorney Carol Lam. O'Keefe was scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday in federal court.

The indictment accuses O'Keefe of sharing military files with news media to generate favorable publicity for his San Diego company, ForensicTec Solutions Inc. O'Keefe allegedly had unauthorized possession of files from NASA (news - web sites), the Army, the Navy, the Department of Energy (news - web sites) and the National Institutes of Health (news - web sites).

The indictment identifies O'Keefe as president of ForensicTec. There was no phone listing in San Diego for the company or for Brett O'Keefe.

The FBI (news - web sites) raided ForensicTec's offices shortly after an August 2002 story in The Washington Post said ForensicTec claimed to have identified 34 military sites where network security and confidential files were easily compromised, including Army computers at Fort Hood, Texas; NASA's Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley and Navy facilities in Maryland and Virginia.

O'Keefe said at the time that the company's goal was to call attention to the need for better security and "get some positive exposure" for his fledgling firm.

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