The Hacker Who Worked on a Navy Nuclear Aircraft Carrier
Nicholas Knight and his hacker crew, Digi7al, were a lot like other hacking crews. According to a Federal indictment filed this week, they broke into computers, took information, posted it, and boasted about their exploits.
But there is a key difference: Nicholas Knight was employed by the Navy on the nuclear aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman. He called himself a "nuclear black hat," black hat being a common term for a broad array of malicious hackers (think outlaw motorcycle clubs)
Knight was working as sysadmin supporting the ship's nuclear reactor. But the indictment alleges, he was also hacking Los Alamos National Laboratory, AT&T, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, the Department of Homeland Security, the Toronto Police Service, and the Navy itself.
The Navy discharged Knight after he was caught trying to worm his way into a Navy database while aboard a Navy vessel.
They posted the information—with social security numbers redacted—and crowed about it on Twitter. The Navy service underpinned by the database was shut down and never reopened, causing logistical hassles for individuals and the armed service itself.