U.S. computer operator charged
A missile site worker loses his job and his security clearance over hacking allegations
A former civilian computer operator at a federal defense test site on Kwajalein Atoll has been charged with hacking into a U.S. government computer to disable the antivirus software so he could play computer games and watch pirated videos.
A criminal complaint filed Friday in U.S. District Court charged Stephen C. Johnson, 27, of Alabama, with unauthorized access to a government computer, a misdemeanor punishable by a year in prison.
Johnson made his first appearance in U.S. District Court in Honolulu Friday and was released on his own recognizance. Federal Public Defender Peter Wolff told the court that the case is expected to be transferred to Alabama, where Johnson lives, and that he will enter a guilty plea to the charge.
According to court documents, Johnson worked at a communications center at the Ronald Reagan Missile Defense Test Site, where he had access to nonclassified and classified government documents and computer systems. He had been working there for about 10 months.
During an interview with the FBI on Oct. 5, Johnson admitted to using keystroke logging and password cracking software to obtain and change his supervisor's password, and disabled the antivirus software so that he could play computer games such as "Heroes of Might and Magic" and "Red Alert: Command and Conquer."
He also said that everyday for the past five months, he connected a USB hard drive to the government computer so that he could watch pirated movies that he downloaded from the Internet.
Johnson has had his security clearance revoked and has since been fired from his job.