LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A Romanian citizen has been indicted on federal charges of hacking into NASA computers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, causing more than $500,000 in damage.

The one-count indictment was returned by a federal grand jury Tuesday and accuses 25-year-old Robert Butyka with unauthorized impairment of a protected computer. Butyka, who uses the moniker “Iceman,” allegedly hacked into 25 NASA computers at JPL in December 2010.

The computers were part of the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder Program, which is used to support climate research and improve weather forecasting.

The hacking impaired the computers for more than two months while NASA removed the malicious code, restored data and took steps to prevent further access by hackers. The $500,000 in damages includes the costs of completing the work on the computers and time lost to scientific researchers.

If Butyka is convicted, he faces a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years in a federal prison.

Comments (7)
  1. icecream says:

    Were these more of those “secure” government computers ???

  2. alg says:

    What was he doing in our country? Why was he allowed in?. Did he have a previous criminal record. Why weren’t the computer systems ALREADY UN HACKABLE?
    The Romanians have been a stinging spine in our side for years. They have a knack for learning the most unlawful things in the universe. In poker, most romanians have gone to the POKER SCHOOL OF ALLIN learning. They say they feel incredibly lucky and as GYPSY’S, can do just about anything and get away with it.
    It’s time to remove all ROMANIANS FROM THE UNITED STATES as soon as possible. Surely our FBI should have files on all Romanians living in the us, or visiting.
    We have enough troubles without these viscious ah’s in our country. Send them to Siberia.

  3. Christina39 says:

    Maybe he was trying to find out if there really is going to be a pole shift in 12/21/12. LOL

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