Patrick W. Gregory of Houston, 19 and a high-school dropout, was known on the Internet as "MostHateD" and was one of the founders of the Global Hell online gang. He pleaded to a single count of conspiracy to commit telecommunications wire fraud and computer hacking, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Gregory was caught during nationwide antihacker raids launched in May 1999 by the FBI just days after the brazen intrusion of the White House's Internet server.
The raids, and Gregory's arrest, sparked retaliatory electronic attacks that endured for months against U.S. government Internet sites in Washington, including those of the Senate, FBI and Army.
Those embarrassments drastically raised awareness of online threats in Washington and forced federal officials to overhaul security for many of the electronic systems accessible to the public.
The other founder of Global Hell, Chad "Mindphasr" Davis, 20, of suburban Green Bay, Wis., pleaded guilty earlier this year to vandalizing the Army's Web site -- an act made to appear as if it were committed by the Chinese government. A judge ordered Davis last month to spend six months in custody and pay the Army $8,054 in damages. He also was told not to speak with Gregory or anyone else involved with Global Hell.