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'Hacker' held over U.S. Navy breach

From CNN Madrid Bureau Chief Al Goodman

YOUR E-MAIL ALERTS

U.S. Navy
Spain
Computer Security
Madrid (Spain)

MADRID, Spain (CNN) -- An 18-year-old suspected Spanish hacker who allegedly breached the top-secret computer security of a U.S. Navy base in San Diego has been arrested, according to the Spanish Civil Guard.

The alleged hacker "seriously compromised the correct operations and security of a maintenance dry dock for nuclear submarines" a statement said on Monday.

U.S. Navy computer security specialists started an investigation when they detected illegal access to a U.S. Department of Defense computer at Naval Base Point Loma in San Diego. They later determined the cyber incident had originated in Spain, the statement said.

The Spanish suspect was arrested last week in the southern provincial capital of Malaga, on the Mediterranean coast, where he lives.

The Civil Guard searched his home and seized a computer and other items that were being analyzed, a Civil Guard spokeswoman told CNN on Monday.

The U.S. notified Spanish authorities, and the paramilitary Civil Guard's cyber-terrorism unit got involved. The Spanish suspect is a resident of the southern provincial capital of Malaga, on the Mediterranean coast.

A U.S. Embassy spokesman in Madrid said there was no immediate U.S. reaction. The embassy, like most U.S. government offices, is closed due to observance of the Martin Luther King Jr. national holiday.

The alleged hacker was part of a group that aimed to breach computer security systems connected to the Internet for illegal means, the Civil Guard's statement said, adding that the group allegedly had breached more than a hundred computer systems, causing damages of more than $500,000.

The Civil Guard was able to locate the suspected hacker in part through the testimony of four witnesses in other parts of Spain, the statement said. The other four were not arrested.

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