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Suspected NASA Hacker Arrested

March 19, 1998

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The suspected leader of a group of computer hackers who broke into the network of a NASA laboratory has been arrested, agency officials said Wednesday.

In addition to its own computer system, NASA investigators believe Calldan Levi Coffman, 20, of Carson, Wash., also infiltrated the networks of various corporations, universities and other government agencies.

Coffman is the suspected leader of the group ``ViRii.″ NASA officials started looking into the group last June when security officials at its Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., detected a problem with the computer system.

An investigation determined the system was being controlled by intruders using the network to help break into other systems targeted by ViRii targets, NASA said.

The agency initially investigated suspects other than Coffman, including an Israeli teen known as ``The Analyzer.″ The 18-year-old was placed under house arrest Wednesday in Jerusalem after being accused of infiltrating the Pentagon’s computer system.

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