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1994: Griffiss Air Force Base finds malware

Sunday, March 28, 2021
1994: Griffiss Air Force Base finds malware

28 March 1994: Griffiss Air Force Base found illegal wiretap malware in its Rome laboratory network.

System administrators at the United States Air Force (USAF), Rome Laboratory on Griffiss Air Force Base discovered "sniffer" malware on one of the lab's networks.

The malware enabled hackers to steal passwords to gain access to additional networks including NASA Goddard, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, and NATO headquarters. An investigation, involving U.S. and U.K. law enforcement agencies, led to “Datastream Cowboy” and “Kuji”, the hacker handles of British citizens Richard Pryce and Matthew Bevan.

Bevan claimed they hacked Rome Labs and other systems to find evidence of alien anti-gravity technology, which he believed was being used by the U.S. military.

Pryce, only 16 at the time, alarmed investigators when he downloaded a Korean nuclear database to a USAF system. Air Force investigators feared the database belonged to North Korea and their discovery of the data theft and subsequent trace of the transfer to the USAF system would lead to an international confrontation. The data turned out to be from the South Korean Atomic Research Institute which, while still serious, was significantly less dangerous.

Learn about the incident via the Case Study linked below.

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About Us

The NCMF directly supports the National Cryptologic Museum (NCM), the first public museum in the U.S. Intelligence Community. We think you will agree it is truly a "museum like no other."

Located adjacent to the National Security Agency (NSA) in Maryland, the NCM houses a priceless collection of artifacts that represent our Nation's history in code making and code breaking, as well as a world class library of cryptologic media. The NCMF acquires the best artifacts for the NCM and supports new educational and interactive exhibits.

The NCMF provides exceptional cryptologic programs throughout the year, encourages young minds to explore cryptology and innovation through valued awards, and hosts educational, cryptology-related exhibits at various community events.

As part of the Foundation's partnership with NSA to build the Cyber Center for Education and Innovation - Home of the National Cryptologic Museum (CCEI-NCM), the NCMF also serves as a leader in the field of cybersecurity - striving to provide the best in educational resources and programs.

The NCMF and NCM share a joint three-fold mission to Educate, Stimulate, and Commemorate. Learn more about our MISSION.