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Texas Man Pleads Guilty To Hacking NASA, Business

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A Texas man who admitted hacking into the computer systems of a Minnesota company and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland pleaded guilty Wednesday to one count of wire fraud.

Jeremey Parker, 26, of Houston, acknowledged that from December 2008 through October 2009 he hacked into the computer networks of a subsidiary of Eden Prairie-based Digital River and stole about $275,000, according to the plea agreement.

He also admitted that in September 2009, he hacked into two NASA computers that supported oceanographic data being sent back to Earth from satellites. Prosecutors said in a statement that the NASA servers didn’t control the satellites themselves, but allowed researchers who paid a fee to access the data coming from the satellites.

Prosecutors said when Parker hacked into the servers, he made the data freely available. NASA spent about $43,000 to repair the damage.

Parker was not charged in connection with the NASA incident, but the activity can be considered as a possible factor in his sentence. The wire fraud charge carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, but a spokeswoman with the U.S. Attorney’s Office said he could face more.

A sentencing date has not been set.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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