Guilty plea for 'patriotic' defacer

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A Californian has pleaded guilty to hacking into Government computers and defacing websites. Robert Lyttle, 21, of Pleasant Hill, admitted five counts of computer violation earlier this month.

Lyttle is one of a hacking group who call themselves "The Deceptive Duo," who targeted the Department of Defense's Defense Logistic Information Service (DLIS), the Office of Health Affairs (OHA) and NASA's Ames Research Center (ARC). The attacked occurred in April 2002 and federal officials arrested Lyttle, and an accomplice, in May of that year.

At the time the duo claimed they were trying to reveal dangerous weaknesses in US infrastructure in the wake of the September 11 attacks. Lyttle said his actions were "patriotic". Other hacking groups claimed they would continue Deceptive Duo's work, should they be locked up. Deceptive Duo last hit a website in May of 2002.

Lyttle could now face up to 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. The hearing is in Oakland on June 24, 2005.

The case occurs at the same time US official are digesting the results of an Office of Management and Budget report suggesting that Federal computer security has improved, but more work is needed.

In February SC reported the website of the new Steven Spielberg and Tom Cruise movie, War of the Worlds had been hacked.

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