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English hacker charged by US authorities

An English hacker has been charged by US authorities for breaching computer systems and attempting to pilfer large amounts of confidential data from a number of targets.

Lauri Love, 28, from Suffolk is charged with one count of accessing a US department or agency computer without express permission and another of conspiracy, US Attorney Paul Fishman for New Jersey told Reuters.

"According to the indictment, Lauri Love and conspirators hacked into thousands of networks, including many belonging to the United States military and other government agencies. As part of their alleged scheme, they stole military data and personal identifying information belonging to servicemen and women. Such conduct endangers the security of our country and is an affront to those who serve,” Fishman added.

Prosecutors claim Love and his co-conspirators placed hidden “back doors” or “shells” in hacked networks between October 2012 and October 2013 that allowed them to come back later and steal the data.

A large number of networks were hacked into including the US Department of Defense's Missile Defense Agency and the US Army Corps of Engineers and it comes after Love was arrested on Friday by the UK’s National Crime Agency.

Further to this Love managed to gain access to the NASA and Environmental Protection Agency networks according to the prosecutors in charge of the case.

The information accessed by the team of hackers included budgeting data, personal information on thousands of people such as those in the military, and information on the disposal of military facilities.

Love and his co-conspirators used a number of IRC chat rooms to communicate with each other and Love used various different aliases that were identified over time by the authorities.

The indictment includes details on instant messages sent between members of the group including stating “this … stuff is really sensitive”, according to a report by IBTimes.