Computer Crime Research Center


Teen hacker admits cyber crime charges

Date: April 01, 2008

A Whitianga teenager, allegedly at the centre of a cyber crime ring causing millions of dollars of damage, admitted six computer crime charges when he appeared in Thames District Court today.

Owen Thor Walker, 18, who has Asperger's syndrome, was accused by the FBI of being 'Akill' - leading a group of international programmers that set up a 'botnet' which infected a million computers with a virus and resulted in an estimated $NZ26 million-plus of economic loss.

A botnet is a network of hacked computers that can be controlled by a single computer via the internet.

Although some of the charges Walker was convicted of today carry maximum sentences of five years' imprisonment, Judge Arthur Tompkins indicated he was not considering jailing Walker.

In remanding him on bail to May 28 for pre-sentence and reparation reports, Judge Tompkins said the pre-sentence report would cover home detention, community detention, community work and a fine.

He said he would not specify what the sentencing outcome would be.
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