-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Posted on Wed, Apr. 06, 2005 MIAMI 1 charged in U.S. computer hacking A Venezuelan fashion model living in Miami faces a federal charge of breaking into the U.S. Defense Department's computer system. BY GERARDO REYES El Nuevo Herald A 25-year-old Venezuelan-born computer whiz who allegedly hacked his way into a U.S. Defense Department computer system and posted a taunting message was arrested in Miami on a federal charge that carries up to 20 years in prison. Rafael Nuñez's arrest Monday capped an investigation that began in June 2001 when a Web server network that provides computer training to thousands of U.S. Air Force personnel temporarily was replaced by an alternate website, a Defense Department complaint says. Joseph Diebert, special agent for the Office of Inspector General, Defense Criminal Investigative Service, filed the complaint, which doesn't allege that the incident was politically motivated. INTENTIONAL DAMAGE Nuñez is charged with intentionally doing damage to a protected computer. He faces possible trial in Denver, where the federal investigation is based. Diebert's complaint says the intrusion into the Colorado-based Air Force network was the work of Nuñez as he and other ''professional'' hackers tried to best one another with their Web exploits. ''I think this a kind of manifesto . . . for the lazy (website) administrators who have a bad knowledge about security, and we do this for fun,'' Nuñez wrote, according to the complaint. A Miami resident, Nuñez once worked as a researcher for a company called Scientech of Venezuela, a worldwide provider of security-related computer products. A person who identified herself as a secretary of Scientech in Caracas told El Nuevo Herald that Nuñez left the company around two years ago. Nuñez also abandoned a career in computer science at Caracas' Andres Bello Catholic University to become a model, the complaint says. NUÑEZ NAMED In his complaint, agent Diebert says he got Nuñez's name while questioning a person involved in the creation of the alternate website posted in the Air Force system. That person traded e-mails with Nuñez in which they discussed such topics as identity theft and using stolen credit card numbers, the complaint says. Nuñez was scheduled to appear in federal court in Miami on Thursday for an identity hearing before being transferred to Colorado. Nuñez, who took by assault a Defense Department computer system by displaying the message ''woh is back . . . and kiss my ass because I just owned Yours'' was arrested in Miami and taken before a federal judge Monday. BRAGGING ONLINE In one of the chats examined by the federal investigation, Nuñez bragged that his greatest accomplishment was hacking ``the American Air Force Security Information of Computer System.'' He introduced himself as a successful fashion model who dropped a computer science career at the Catholic University Andres Bello in Caracas. He said he was moving to Paris ``to continue my ongoing successful modeling career in the old continent.'' He added: ``I am the youngest of six brothers, and I am proud of being Venezuelan in the fashion industry.'' -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- © 2005 Herald.com and wire service sources. All Rights Reserved. http://www.miami.com