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Cyber Crime

Guilty plea in attempted cyber-attack on US govt. computers

A former Nuclear Regulatory Commission scientist pleaded guilty Tuesday to a federal computer crime, admitting that he attempted to launch a cyber-attack on government computers by sending employees emails that he thought contained a virus.

Charles Harvey Eccleston, who was detained in the Philippines last year and deported to the United States to face charges, is scheduled to be sentenced in April. Federal sentencing guidelines call for him to spend at least two years behind bars.

Prosecutors say Eccleston, 62, last year attempted "spear-phishing" emails to dozens of Energy Department email accounts — a technique in which hackers send targeted,...