back to article Pentagon hacker McKinnon reinvents himself as SEO guru

Former hacker and US extradition target Gary McKinnon has found a new career as a search engine optimisation expert. McKinnon - who successfully fought a 10-year campaign against extradition to the US over charges he hacked into Pentagon systems - has launched Small SEO, which specialises in making sure small businesses appear …

  1. Amorous Cowherder

    " US authorities claimed his actions had caused $800K in damages, describing his actions as the "biggest military computer hack of all time". "

    You reckon they make a Top Trumps Hackers set? My Snowdon card beats your McKinnon card!

    1. Anonymous Coward 101

      'My Snowdon card beats your McKinnon card!'

      Handsomeness: McKinnon 1, Snowden 10

      Not being saved by mummy before the eyes of the world: McKinnon 1, Snowden 10

      Geopolitical significance: McKinnon 1, Snowden 10

      1. MyffyW Silver badge
        Big Brother

        Not being saved by mummy...

        That's what Mums are for, dear ;-)

        Now Edward, say sorry to the NSA. Like you mean it

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    $800k in damages

    Those damages included hiring an external security consultant via the CIA. He went through each and every system thoroughly for over 2 years, charging a hefty hourly rate, after which he instructed the Pentagon brass that Passw0rd1 is not a secure admin password and is probably how McKinnon got in.

    1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge

      Re: $800k in damages

      IIRC there were no passwords set on at least some of the systems he accessed.

  3. Rottenham

    I Remember Him

    I was wondering what happened to this guy. I'm glad to see somebody stood behind him. He should have been given an award for testing our security. The "free press" certainly steered clear of him, didn't they.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh look, how nice.

    Criminal gets free business advert.........relax people I am talking about the daily fail.

  5. shade82000


    My guess is that the majority of this cash was used to pay lawyers and consultants for work that probably should have been paid for and completed BEFORE Gary came along.

    I believe that if you have to spend any amount of money to tighten security AFTER a hack then this does not fall under "damages" because that work should have already been done.

    The total cost of actual damage caused by Gary was probably much, much lower - probably not even 1% of that.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What a fucking cock.

    1. Chris Parsons

      I presume you're talking about yourself, Mr Coward?

  7. Mark Wilson

    Snake Oil For Sale

    Good stuff, none of my clients have died yet, and actually been used to fight infection* after use all clients recored 100%. Only £50/bottle.

    *Test virus was nasopharyngitis

  8. CaptainBanjax

    I see your Snowden...

    And I play a Karl Koch.

    +100% chance of spontaneous* combustion.

    I just picked up a new pack of hacker top trump cards,all I got was 3 Adrian Lamos a Mendax and a Sabu.

    *or was it?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    He should have lodged that as his defence.

    The US made him out to be some sort of technical bogeyman. If all he can actually do in tech is SEO for a poxy £40 per hour he's somewhere just slightly more competent than a Windows admin.

  10. PyLETS
    Black Helicopters

    He was a very naughty boy

    And I'm very glad he's now able to use his skills to make an honest living. Should have been given a hundred hours community service by the local magistrate and the chance to get on with life much, much sooner. Instead he spent what should have been the best years of his life awaiting extradition and is still confined to the UK until the US legal system and politicians stop behaving like drooling idiots.

    1. druck Silver badge

      Re: He was a very naughty boy

      You think the tricks used by SEOs to punt their worthless sites constitutes an honest living?

  11. Arachnoid

    I suggest..........

    He may well shortly receive a client meeting with the venue on a coastal anchored "Millionaires leisure boat" that will mysteriously end up outside of British controlled waters during the discussion phase.

    1. Lord Lien

      Re: I suggest..........

      Think the US will leave him well alone to be honest. They got egg on there face over this farce & the only winners in this case are the lawyers. A 10 year case, thank you very much ladies & gentlemen where do we cash in these cheques......

  12. Bluenose

    So not just the rich and famous

    are able to avoid taking responsibility for their action. Or does he count as "famous" now?

  13. 46,524 know who I am

    SEO Guru, really?

    The SEO on his own site and some of the clients I've looked at is poor or very basic at best. It looks like he's read a few chapters of a version of SEO for Dummies from 10 years ago and completely missed what Google et al have done in the last few years. Unfortunately he's typical of the vast majority of SEO peeps who mainly talk the talk, but give the very few who can also walk the walk, a bad name.

  14. IntelliGiants

    SEO Guru - Going from Bad for Good

    Ok Guys, lets face it the US government have a real issue with this guy.

    But the good news is that if he can make the change from hacking to white hat SEO with the brain power he clearly has a lot of people will be very happy.

    He is a computer genius not a paedophile, or burglar, or rapist he just loves computers.... and after a hack the US will get more advanced at defending.... its evolution. War or a battle of any kind evolves those involved, that's how as the human race, we have evolved more over the past 100 years that we have over the past 2000.

    Plus he is in the limelight now.... and it would be daft to attract any further unwanted attention.

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