Geert Lovink on Mon, 24 Feb 97 16:19 MET

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nettime: Teen hackers in Croatia break Pentagon codes

Date: Thu, 20 Feb 1997 13:11:05 +0000
Subject: Zadar Teenagers Break Pentagon Highly Classified Codes

Computer hacking is *not* illegal in Croatia. And you can also drink 
and smoke regardless of age. Which does not mean that Croatia is 
already a picture-perfect democracy. But, we have to admit, there are 
some cool things you can do. Particularly while you are a teenager. 
In the U.S. it sometimes seems to me that they threat their 
adolescents as natural born suspects.


---------- Forwarded message ----------

Teen hackers in Croatia break Pentagon codes

ZAGREB (Feb 19, 1997 08:12 a.m. EST) - 
Three teenage computer hackers in Croatia broke
Pentagon protection codes and copied highly classified files from 
United States military bases, local
media and school officials said on Wednesday.

While surfing the Internet on their home computer, the three high 
school students applied a search program and deciphered
codes, barging into the database of several U.S. military
installations, the Zagreb daily Vecernji List said.

The databases included those of the Anderson nuclear 
installation and an unnamed satellite research centre, it

The break-in left a trace on the Internet which was tracked 
down by the Pentagon, reports said.

The U.S. Defense Department contacted Croatian police 
through Interpol demanding an investigation while local 
police searched the youngsters' flats and  confiscated their 
computer equipment, local media said.

The damage caused by the teenagers' destruction of high-profile 
protection programs could reach half a million dollars, 
Vecernji List said.

Computer-hacking is not illegal in Croatia.

The three teenagers attend a school in the Adriatic port of 
Zadar specialising in mathematics and science.

Principal Zdravko Curko said the three had no criminal 
intent and their "success" was a compliment to their 

"This is a case of extensive curiosity which had undesired 
consequences," Curko told Reuters by telephone. "They 
are excellent students, in love with mathematics and 
computer science -- they are fanatics in a positive sense 
of the term."

But Curko said the hackers' parents were concerned that 
they might be sued for damages.
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