Hospital hacking security guard gets 9 years

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Ghost Exodus wanted to DDoS Anonymous.

A former security guard who planted “bot” malware on a hospital’s computers and stripped them of antivirus has been sentenced to nine years in a US federal prison.

The 26 year-old, Jesse McGraw, last year admitted he had installed bot software on several of a Dallas, Texas hospital’s computers and hoped to launch a denial of service (DDoS) attack on rival hacking groups, including Anonymous.

Operating under the online moniker, Ghost Exodus, McGraw claimed to be the leader of a hacking organisation, Electronik Tribulation Army. 

The hacking collective Anonymous has gained notoriety for recent DDoS attacks on PayPal, MasterCard, Visa as well as hacking the US information security firm HB Gary Federal.

McGraw had used his credentials as the hospital's security guard to gain physical access to several key systems. 

The FBI arrested McGraw in June 2009. Last May he pleaded guilty to two charges of “transmitting malicious code”, according to the US Department of Justice. 

One of his more serious crimes was compromising the hospital’s heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems. He used password recovery software to gain access to the system, and later paved a remote access route after installing a virtual CD/DVD drive on it. 

He also compromised 14 of the hospital’s computers, including a nurse’s work station containing patient identifiers, billing data and medical history.  

In April 2009, a hooded but not entirely obscured McGraw posted a video of himself on YouTube in which he detailed his exploits.

He had used an open source program to crack and compromise passwords. The FBI found the program and the source code for the bot software at his house.

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