The Pentagon has had its second major intelligence embarrassment in a week after a teenager in Austria hacked into secret plans, including the location of US nuclear missiles.
The exploits of Markus Hirsch, 17, come only days after British surveillance enthusiast John Locker was able to hack into US spy satellite pictures.
Now an FBI team is on its way to Vienna to question Markus. Their big fear is that Osama bin Laden followers may have enjoyed similar access for months.
American protection of its secrets has never been higher since 11 September, with even the most conservative estimates saying at least £7billion has gone into bolstering security.
But from the computer in his bedroom, Markus was able to get into the most classified Pentagon sites, including the one which details the silos where missiles with multi-megaton warheads are kept.
"Cracking into the Pentagon was child's play," said the teenager. "I know my way round the internet."
Markus, who lived with his mother in Germany for a while when his parents split up, eventually moved into a small flat in Vienna where he now lives alone.
He added: "I don't know anyone here, apart from my granny, so I surf all night on the internet."
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