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Topic # 24099 15-Jul-2008 11:37
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"A young Whitianga computer hacker who pleaded guilty to charges relating to an international cyber-crime ring was today discharged without conviction."

Unbelievable!  This is a joke!  Who cares if he has all these overseas job offers?  If they don't make an example and come down hard on hackers then it's really not going to deter others from doing the same!





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Reply # 148042 15-Jul-2008 12:01
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He should go buy a lotto ticket

 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 148055 15-Jul-2008 12:23
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And best of all according to the media he potentially had job offers from the Police!

Why should the Police employ a h8x0r who who has been been paid money for his hacking along with pleading guilty when caught?



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  Reply # 148056 15-Jul-2008 12:23
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I know!  It's crazy!

He earnt close to $40,000, did who knows what amont damage, only had to pay $9526 in reparations, $5000 in costs, gets a couple of job offers out of it and walks away with no criminal record!  And who says crime doesn't pay?

"He was charged with accessing a computer for dishonest purpose, damaging or interfering with a computer system, possessing software for committing a crime and accessing a computer system without authorisation." - Great it looks like these are no longer considered to be criminal activity if the Police want you to join them!




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Reply # 148057 15-Jul-2008 12:27
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freitasm: And he pleaded guilty!

Which will have worked in his favour - early pleas always get "credit".  But given the gravity of his offending, a DWOC does seem like completely the wrong way to go.  However, although we'll never know the full story, it is conceivable that someone like the NSA wants him but won't be able to to have him if he has a conviction. 

I can imagine he would be receiving lots of job offers as putting the poacher in as the gamekeeper is a well established method of maintaining security.  I can't see him "working for" NZ Police but I can see any security advice he has to offer being acted on to help maintain the integrity of their computer systems.



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  Reply # 148058 15-Jul-2008 12:45
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I can't see why cyber crime should be treated any differently to other forms of crime.  If a criminal convinction means that he can't take up job offers overseas then boo-hoo - he should have thought twice before entering into such malicous activities.  He should have got jail time IMO.




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  Reply # 148071 15-Jul-2008 13:21
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I think I'm going to side with the courts on this one. 

What's better - lock him up in a prison full of criminals where he can sell his skill for evil purposes, or send him out into the world where there are known offers from organisations to put his skill to good purposes.

Not to mention he's just a kid, an asperger kid, I expect those who suffer from aspergers would do particularly badly in prison.

It comes down to punishing for the sake of punishing, or turning a guy who has started down the wrong path onto the right path.

That said, perhaps a court ordered sentance of a community work, which can be done for the Police cyber crime unit might have been an option.




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  Reply # 148099 15-Jul-2008 14:34
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I'm just in total W...T...F... mode having just read that. Maybe I should start robbing some banks to get offers as a security expert. My skills and degrees in computer science will shield me from conviction apparently.

---JvdL---

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  Reply # 148104 15-Jul-2008 14:52
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maybe a P cook could be offered a job at a scientific lab helping to cure cancer instead of being put in jail.




When you live your life on Twitter and Facebook, and are only friends with like minded people on Twitter and Facebook, you are not living in the real world. You are living in a narcissistic echo chamber.

 


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  Reply # 148124 15-Jul-2008 15:21
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sleemanj: I think I'm going to side with the courts on this one. 

What's better - lock him up in a prison full of criminals where he can sell his skill for evil purposes, or send him out into the world where there are known offers from organisations to put his skill to good purposes.

Not to mention he's just a kid, an asperger kid, I expect those who suffer from aspergers would do particularly badly in prison.

It comes down to punishing for the sake of punishing, or turning a guy who has started down the wrong path onto the right path.

That said, perhaps a court ordered sentance of a community work, which can be done for the Police cyber crime unit might have been an option.


+ 1....that's what I was going to say....he is young and wanted to prove something....unfortunatley he choose the wrong side...but hopefully he has learnt his lesson and be a ethical hacker for the police or the military....or even become a security analyst for a anti virus company...he has a future, why destroy it by putting him in prision where he will be beaten up by gang members...




Do whatever you want to do man.

  

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  Reply # 148134 15-Jul-2008 15:32
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I'm not convinced there was any extraordinary skill exhibited here; and whether any job offers would actually be real or lead to anything.  I have heard this a lot from those involved in electronic crimes.

Having been involved in several e-crime cases in the past, I say throw the book at them (and him).  I'm sick of seeing the courts and police treat this as a 'soft crime' where nobody was hurt.  DWOC is unacceptable, at the very least a conviction (even with no sentence) should have been handed out.

I'm not sure I ever see this scenario playing out: "I robbed a bank -- just because I wanted to prove myself.  Unfortunately, I chose the wrong side.  But don't punish me, after all, it wasn't your money, just a bank, and they have lots of money.  I shouldn't go to prison, because my locksmithing/security skills will go to waste."

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  Reply # 148249 15-Jul-2008 19:33
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geez you guys are harsh... he's a kid... I know I did a crap load of dumb things as a kid... why should it screw up his life.

Next time you get caught speeding in your flash V8 I hope the cops impound it and you loose your license for 28 days (or perhaps you should go to jail because you could have killed someone)....

Now seriously who did he hurt and what did he get out of it (not counting job offers, etc from after the fact).

I'm glad he was let off with a warning as hopefully he learnt a fairly decent lesson.

Boo to you guys.

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  Reply # 148269 15-Jul-2008 20:10
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JDNZ: geez you guys are harsh... he's a kid... I know I did a crap load of dumb things as a kid... why should it screw up his life.

Next time you get caught speeding in your flash V8 I hope the cops impound it and you loose your license for 28 days (or perhaps you should go to jail because you could have killed someone)....

Now seriously who did he hurt and what did he get out of it (not counting job offers, etc from after the fact).

I'm glad he was let off with a warning as hopefully he learnt a fairly decent lesson.

Boo to you guys.


um he made $40,000 that the cops know of. Thats not just "kid pranks". How can we complain about spam and virus' if this is how we treat the people who help cause these things. What do you think his little network of "tens of thousands" of infected PC's was used for - it wasnt for folding at home or the SETI project!




When you live your life on Twitter and Facebook, and are only friends with like minded people on Twitter and Facebook, you are not living in the real world. You are living in a narcissistic echo chamber.

 


My thoughts are my own and are in no way representative of my employer.




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  Reply # 148282 15-Jul-2008 20:43
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JDNZ: geez you guys are harsh... he's a kid... I know I did a crap load of dumb things as a kid... why should it screw up his life.

Next time you get caught speeding in your flash V8 I hope the cops impound it and you loose your license for 28 days (or perhaps you should go to jail because you could have killed someone)....

Now seriously who did he hurt and what did he get out of it (not counting job offers, etc from after the fact).

I'm glad he was let off with a warning as hopefully he learnt a fairly decent lesson.

Boo to you guys.


First of all it sets a nasty precedent that this sort of behavior is deemed to be "OK" - especially if you are young.  If this person was 40 would they have been let off like this kid?  Absolutely not.  Age in these sorts of cases should have nothing to do with it as everyone should be judged equally under the law.  Will the next kid who does this pull out the same excuses and expect to be left of?

Secondly, it's hard to know exactly what damage this kid did.  How many man-hours did the University in the States put into fixing their systems?  Who has to pay for that? What inconvenience was there to staff and students when their systems were down? What other computers where unnecessary affected and how much did they cost to fix?  This isn't a victimless crime.

Finally, you raise a good analogy about the speeding car.  If you kill someone in a car in it doesn't matter how old you are you still get treated the same by the legal system - just look at that kid down in Christchurch who killed those girls with his car!  So why should it be any different in this case?

The thing that really pisses me off is that on the news tonight he was all smug and smiling in court.  Mind you I probably would have if got away with what he did.




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  Reply # 148309 15-Jul-2008 21:39
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PenultimateHop: DWOC is unacceptable, at the very least a conviction (even with no sentence) should have been handed out.

Quite agree, but unfortunately it's done and dusted now.  Crown Law (who will have prosecuted the case) can appeal the sentence if the judge has made an error in a point (or points) of law relating to his decision, but that's relatively uncommon.  So it's more than likely end-game for this case.

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