A 20-year-old man from California has pleaded guilty to hacking into several computers at Nasa's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in 1998.
Jason Diekman, who claimed to have broken into possibly thousands of computers during his two-year hacking career, was also charged with infiltrating 24 computers at Stanford University.
Government officials said Diekman also compromised systems at several other US universities, including the University of California in Los Angeles and San Diego, Harvard University and Cornell University.
Diekman, who used the nicknames Dark Lord and Shadow Knight, was also charged with using stolen credit card numbers to make thousands of dollars worth of unauthorised transactions. He faces a maximum of 16 years in prison.
Separately, the websites of both the US Republican and Democratic parties were broken into just as the country's citizens were preparing to cast their votes for the next president.
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