The United States Attorney's Office for the Northern District of California announced that Robert Lyttle, 21, of Pleasant Hill, California, pleaded guilty today in federal court in Oakland to hacking into government computers and then defacing government websites with material illegally obtained from those intrusions.
Mr. Lyttle pleaded guilty to each count of a five-count indictment charging computer crimes in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1030. In pleading guilty, Mr. Lyttle, who is known as one of the members of the self-titled hacking group called "The Deceptive Duo," admitted that he unlawfully accessed computer systems of various federal agencies in April 2002, including the Department of Defense's Defense Logistic Information Service (DLIS), the Office of Health Affairs (OHA), and NASA's Ames Research Center (ARC). In particular, Mr. Lyttle admitted that he:
The maximum statutory penalty for the count related to the defacement of the OHA website is 10 years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000, plus restitution if appropriate. The maximum statutory penalty for each of the counts related to the DLIS and NASA ARC intrusions is five years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000, plus restitution if appropriate. Finally, the maximum statutory penalty for the count related to the defacement of the NASA ARC computer is one year imprisonment and a fine of $100,000, plus restitution if appropriate. However, Mr. Lyttle's sentence will be imposed by the Court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. 3553.
A sentencing hearing is scheduled before United States District Court Judge D. Lowell Jensen in Oakland on June 24, 2005, at 10:00 a.m.
The prosecution is being overseen by the Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property (CHIP) Unit of the United States Attorney's Office and is the result of an investigation by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, and NASA's Office of Inspector General. Kyle F. Waldinger is the Assistant U.S. Attorney in the CHIP Unit who is prosecuting the case.
A copy of this press release may be found on the U.S. Attorney's Office's website at www.usdoj.gov/usao/can. Related court documents and information may be found on the District Court website at www.cand.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.cand.uscourts.gov.
All press inquiries to the U.S. Attorney's Office should be directed to Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher P. Sonderby, Chief of the CHIP unit, at (408) 535-5037, or Luke Macaulay at (415) 436-6757 or by email at Luke.Macaulay3@usdoj.gov.