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15-Year-Old Arrested For Hacking 259 Companies

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the needs-more-homework dept.

Crime 153

An anonymous reader writes "Austrian police have arrested a 15-year-old student suspected of hacking into 259 companies across the span of three months. Authorities allege the suspect scanned the Internet for vulnerabilities and bugs in websites and databases that he could then exploit. As soon as he was questioned, the young boy confessed to the attacks, according to Austria's Federal Criminal Police Office (BMI)."

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153 comments

Not hacking (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39727057)

nerd voice

Excuuuuse me. The term is 'cracking'.

/ nerd voice

Re:Not hacking (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727131)

2600 would disagree

Re:Not hacking (5, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727481)

Citation? because the AC is correct. I understand how muggles confuse nerd terms, but they've taken OUR word for modifying hardware or writing quick-and-dirty single-use code and we let the muggles mangle the meaning of OUR word! As someone already pointed out, he's not a "hacker", he's a script kiddie. The hackers wrote the code he used for his cyberburglary and cybervandalism.

I never thought I'd see the day when we would be acceptable, let alone the day normal people pretend to be us.

Re:Not hacking (-1, Troll)

0racle (667029) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727639)

I'm sorry, are we supposed to take you seriously? First, you use a made-up word 'muggles' which makes you sound like a damn tard, but on top of that, you use it incorrectly in a rant about using a word incorrectly.

Re:Not hacking (-1, Offtopic)

tibman (623933) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727663)

How did he use muggles incorrectly?

Re:Not hacking (5, Funny)

amRadioHed (463061) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727717)

First, you use a made-up word...

Care to give an example of a word that is not made-up?

Re:Not hacking (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39728231)

Care to give an example of a word that is not made-up?

Grunt

It's not made up, because its use predates written languages.

Re:Not hacking (0)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727723)

all words are made up. Muggle is a valid word. It will be in the dictionary someday because people use it.

Re:Not hacking (1)

SendBot (29932) | more than 2 years ago | (#39728271)

Look, I haven't read any Harry Potter books or seen any of the movies, but even *I* know what a muggle is! God forbid you try to look it up yourself:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muggle [wikipedia.org]

Re:Not hacking (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727647)

He is saying that some people say that "hacker" only refers to people who like to illegally break computer security systems, by referring to 2600, a hacker group known for that sort of thing. I say that anyone who is curious can read 2600 magazine and see that while there are a lot of articles about breaking security systems, there are other articles that are within the scope of the old school meaning of the word "hacker."

Re:Not hacking (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#39728097)

Go read 2600 - or go buy their Best Of book, a good read. The editors have repeatedly stated that they're against using the term "cracker" to denote a malicious hacker. I never said whether or not cracker is the correct term, just that 2600 disagrees.

Hollywood would disagree (4, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727555)

If you actually read 2600 magazine, the scope of the articles fits in with the typical definition of a hacker: someone who likes to tinker with computers and other electronics. There is something of a bias toward computer security, but I have also seen articles about undocumented functions of electronics, technical information about various networking equipment, and so forth.

Hollywood, on the other hand, turned "hacker" into a code word for "computer criminal." No surprises there, given that Hollywood's view of computing is basically the antithesis of what the old school hackers had in mind. Hollywood thinks that computers should only be programmed by licensed professionals, who can be held accountable for the software they write (e.g. deCSS). In Hollywood's view of the world, if you buy a computer that has been programmed to stop you from running your own software (e.g. an iPhone, a PS3, etc.), then defeating those restrictions is criminal behavior -- and they got that codified in the law with the DMCA.

Re:Hollywood would disagree (1)

FingerDemon (638040) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727973)

Hollywood thinks...

Citation needed...

Re:Hollywood would disagree (-1, Flamebait)

Dainsanefh (2009638) | more than 2 years ago | (#39728363)

"Hollywood Thinks" is synonymous to "The Jews thinks....", which are equally anti-hacker and anti-Ron Paul.

Re:Hollywood would disagree (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#39728045)

I was referring to the parent poster who (sarcastically) was saying it's cracking, not hacking. The editors of 2600 have repeatedly stated that they don't support segregating cracking and hacking, that malicious acts do fall under "hacking" just as much as non-malicious acts.

Re:Not hacking (5, Insightful)

Tarlus (1000874) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727205)

The teenager used various hacking tools widely available on the Internet, including software that helped him remain anonymous.

Nothing more than a script kiddie.

Re:Not hacking (5, Funny)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727293)

A real hacker would break into 256 companies, not 259... What was he thinking?
Unless he actually broke into 512 or 1024 companies.

Re:Not hacking (5, Funny)

Nrrqshrr (1879148) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727619)

He was probably aiming for 1337 companies...

Re:Not hacking (3, Funny)

treeves (963993) | more than 2 years ago | (#39728145)

Well, there are only a few of those. That's why they're 1337. Duh.

Re:Not hacking (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39728221)

Dyslexic

Re:Not hacking (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39727611)

Are you suggesting that serious black hats eschew the use of nmap, ethereal, netcat, telnet, and numerous other useful tools? Instead, they implement all of these themselves? Did they write they own compiler? Build their computer out of sand?

"Script kiddie" doesn't mean the use of scripts, it's about the attitude embodied in the attack. If the tools are nothing but a means to an end (draining a bank account, blackmailing an executive, etc.) then you're looking at a script kiddie. The fact that tools were used, on its own is not enough to make that call.

Re:Not hacking (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39727813)

If the tools are nothing but a means to an end (draining a bank account, blackmailing an executive, etc.) then you're looking at a script kiddie.

Aren't tools always just that? I'm having a hard time thinking of a time they're not.

Re:Not hacking (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39728083)

whoooooosh.

the point GP made was that just because someone uses tools written by others does not make him a script kiddie. It's the purpose he uses the tools for that defines whether he is a script kiddie (not doing anything productive, e.g. blackmailing, etc) or a hacker (doing something worthwhile like programmable toaster).

Re:Not hacking (2)

DurendalMac (736637) | more than 2 years ago | (#39728259)

I'd say it's more the level of understanding that differentiates. If you get the tools, have no idea how they work, don't care how they work, etc, then you're a skiddie. If you do know, understand, try to, maybe tinker with them on the lower levels, then maybe you're something more.

Re:Not hacking (3, Insightful)

Tarlus (1000874) | more than 2 years ago | (#39728695)

"Script kiddie" doesn't mean the use of scripts, it's about the attitude embodied in the attack. If the tools are nothing but a means to an end (draining a bank account, blackmailing an executive, etc.) then you're looking at a script kiddie. The fact that tools were used, on its own is not enough to make that call.

I certainly have no qualm with this. That said, I hold that "script kiddie" perfectly fits the description of a 15-year-old who defaces websites and leaks their back-end to the Internet, with probably limited skills. I could be wrong, maybe he's a technical genius who just needs better guidance. Either way, that is a purely pernicious attitude, and while I agree that most web developers/admins deserve this kind of wake-up call, the kid had no greater motive than the enjoyment of stirring the pot under the shroud of anonymity. And that attitude deserves a derogatory name like "script kiddie."

Re:Not hacking (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39727625)

Based on the description, I think he was using sqlmap. Good program, for skiddie stuff. Gets the job done. IMHO if you're not hacking for political/leaking reasons, you shouldn't use automated programs.

Re:Not hacking (1)

naturaverl (628952) | more than 2 years ago | (#39728149)

Not anonymous enough.

Re:Not hacking (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 2 years ago | (#39728729)

I'm asking this as someone who wouldn't even qualify as a script kiddie...

If you were hacking into sites (blackhat, whitehat, whatever), would you do so from home? I would think that at the very least, you'd get in your car and look for open WiFi. I imagine that with the high-speed cell networks and prepaid phones you could even afford to hack from anywhere with a cell signal.

But certainly not from your home network?

Re:Not hacking (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39727821)

The correct word is 'running' a pre-written script. The guy isn't a hacker/cracker, just a script kiddie.

Re:Not hacking (3, Funny)

Medievalist (16032) | more than 2 years ago | (#39728501)

Bruce Perens was addressing a bunch of geeks once and somebody asked him to use the word cracker instead of hacker when referring to computer criminals. Bruce replied "I refuse to use the word cracker because it's insulting to georgian-americans, and will continue to use the phrase computer criminals". I laughed my ass off, but he was right.

Hacking is not a crime. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39727061)

It's a survival trait.

Re:Hacking is not a crime. (2, Insightful)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727285)

It's a survival trait.

Right. Just like when I was a kid we used to say "skateboarding is not a crime".... until we got in trouble for it.

Re:Hacking is not a crime. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39727777)

I'm sure he'll remember that when he's gang raped in prison

Re:Hacking is not a crime. (1)

Dainsanefh (2009638) | more than 2 years ago | (#39728441)

He will probably get probation instead. This is Europe, not Amerika, remember...

Re:Hacking is not a crime. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39728469)

First of all, he'd be going to juvenile hall. Second of all, touching a child (he's 15) is the ONLY well established rule in prison that will get you shanked on the spot.

Not surprised (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39727071)

Austria is a former penal colony. All their citizens are descended from criminals.

Re:Not surprised (0)

Dutchmaan (442553) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727143)

Let's put another shrimp an the Bahbie!!!! /JimCarrie

Brilliant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39727147)

This troll is brilliant. It's obvious to those of us with a crum of intelligence, and will entice the idiots who want to look smart to correct you.

Of course, I just ruined it, didn't I?

Re:Brilliant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39727213)

It's obvious to anyone who has the brainpower to make their fingers type words on a computer. I've shit more subtle trolls.

Re:Brilliant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39727347)

Interesting comment. You must NOT be new here. ;-) It's a hard line we tow--you, me, and the other l33ts--aint it? Yet we go on.

Re:Brilliant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39727255)

words words words crum words words words

CumB

Re:Brilliant (4, Funny)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727319)

Ha ha! Spelling Nazi fail.

Re:Brilliant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39728681)

By Crom! He's right!

Re:Brilliant (1)

Tarlus (1000874) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727273)

crumb* of intelligence

Re:Brilliant (1)

delysid-x (18948) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727339)

Let's make a scrumb of intelligence

Re:Brilliant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39727609)

I teased out yet another guy who wants to appear smart by correcting a tame typo. Congrats, moron.

Re:Not surprised (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39727211)

Yeah? Well, your mom's a former penile colony, so there's that.

Re:Not surprised (1)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | more than 2 years ago | (#39728483)

Right, because nobody immigrates there...

script kiddie (2)

rst123 (2440064) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727091)

Any one else read this as nmap and known vulnerabilities?

Re:script kiddie (2)

rsmith84 (2540216) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727129)

I was thinking the exact thing. That plus good old hacker-target.com

Re:script kiddie (1)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727935)

Any one else read this as nmap

No, Nessus.

Hey (1)

obliv!on (1160633) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727095)

That's 1507 systems to you and he's 11! ;)

Re:Hey (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727155)

Hell, if it were me... I think I'd stop at popular numbers. Pick a pattern of common computer values like 16 sites, then stop for a while, then 64, then 256, then 1024.

Re:Hey (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39727753)

He was hacking systems, not crashing them. And 1507 would be an ambitious target considering he'd have to do them all in one single day.

Fucking Australians (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39727105)

Always fucking things up, hey matie, go on a walkabout? Look out for the dingo.

Things like this are why they were a penal colony in the first place.

Re:Fucking Australians (1)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727217)

The the number of Austrians living among Australians isn't that high though, so you can't really blame the latter . . .

Re:Fucking Australians (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39727283)

Hey look. Buzz Killington came around trying to appear smart by correcting a joke. *golf clap*

Australian Economists (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39727245)

Why do Australian economists always like Ron Paul? Is it because he looks like Paul Hogan's (hypothetical) gimpy brother?

Re:Fucking Americans (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39727259)

Always fucking things up, hey dude, go on a geography class? Idiots can't tell the difference between Austria and Australia.

Things like this are why they elected presidents like W Bush...

Re:Fucking Americans (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39727761)

You mean Obama and his Austrian speaking Austrians?

Re:Fucking Australians (1)

Tarlus (1000874) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727303)

Austria. Not Australia.

Re:Fucking Australians (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727341)

Yeah, it's almost as if they were making a joke about people who confuse them...

Re:Fucking Australians (1)

Tarlus (1000874) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727357)

One can only wonder...

Re:Fucking Australians (1)

Wraithlyn (133796) | more than 2 years ago | (#39728609)

Or maybe in his rush for a f1st p0st, this AC actually just misread it as Australia and made a stupid attempt at humour.

System Operator arrested (5, Funny)

Ranx (28829) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727115)

System Operator arrested for leaving the computer system of the company he worked for vulnerable for attacks by kids. Oh wait...

Re:System Operator arrested (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39727157)

Yes, that is not an arrestable offense. Just as we don't arrest people who have had their house broken into.

Re:System Operator arrested (2)

nschubach (922175) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727189)

...or their lawn gnomes stolen for not chaining them down!

Re:System Operator arrested (2)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727791)

But what if the lawn gnomes then commit mischief elsewhere? Shouldn't the owner be held responsible? Just look at what happened to France, after some sloppy gardener didn't pay attention to his gnome...

Re:System Operator arrested (2)

TehZorroness (1104427) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727249)

But do we arrest bankers who keep confidential client information in their house while they are on vacation and leave the back door unlocked so their neighbor can feed their cat? That seems like a closer analogy.

Re:System Operator arrested (3, Funny)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727373)

No. We don't arrest bankers, silly. We give them golden parachutes.

Re:System Operator arrested (2)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727739)

We arrest bankers? Huh? Where? Hell, they're completely exempt from any liability as well, they can ruin whole economies and nobody will bother.

Re:System Operator arrested (1)

Skapare (16644) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727431)

Yes, that is not an arrestable offense. Just as we don't arrest people who leave their house unlocked.

There, fixed it for ya.

Re:System Operator arrested (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39727765)

I'm not sure about houses, but in Western Australia at least it is a crime to be more than 3 m away from your car if it isn't locked.

Re:System Operator arrested (1)

ZeroSumHappiness (1710320) | more than 2 years ago | (#39728035)

Wow. That's absurd. That's beyond absurd. That's Monty Python level absurdity. I can see it now, a thief informing a cop that he just stole everything from a cop and the cop going off to fine the car's owner.

I can't wait until a thief unlocks a car, steals everything in it, then leaves it unlocked for the owner to later be fined. I guess that means it's effectively illegal to have broken locks on your car or to lose your door key for older cars that have separate door and ignition keys.

What is going on here. I don't get it. This is pretty much just victim blaming.

Re:System Operator arrested (1)

izomiac (815208) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727557)

OTOH, we would probably fire a safe designer if a 15 year old could easily open it without the combination. Similar to how someone in charge of physical security would be terminated if 15 year olds could non-destructively enter the building as they pleased.

Re:System Operator arrested (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39727785)

I know a number of 15 year olds who can pick your standard building locks.

In fact, I met half a dozen at Defcon last year. :-)

Should we fire all the physical security people now? The problem isn't the people, it's that security isn't the cheapest option, and often the security guys aren't forceful enough with management to point this out and simply let them go with what's cheap.

Re:System Operator arrested (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727725)

But at least the insurance refuses to pay if you leave the key under the doormat, or don't even close the door altogether.

Not so with computer crimes. No matter what a complete idiot you are, you're never to blame.

Re:System Operator arrested (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39728235)

But at least the insurance refuses to pay if you leave the key under the doormat, or don't even close the door altogether.

That's not they way my policy works and according to my searches, requiring forced entry on residential insurance is rare.

In Sharia Law... (-1, Offtopic)

Dainsanefh (2009638) | more than 2 years ago | (#39728423)

The girl who get raped is guilty of adultery.

Re:System Operator arrested (1)

noahwh (1545231) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727279)

Perhaps you mean fired? Or possibly promoted, if it's a government job.

Re:System Operator arrested (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39727327)

Should have automated it entirely and taught the dog to sit on his space bar.

Re:System Operator arrested (1)

Nikker (749551) | more than 2 years ago | (#39728537)

You have to wonder, at what point do these companies start to feel stupid and have to *share* the blame?

hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39727209)

I have no sympathy for script kiddies. If he had used some sort of skill then I'd feel differently but alas he did not.

Re:hmm (1)

delysid-x (18948) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727397)

Most 15 year olds are too lazy to even run a script if they can't do it with a console controller. The new crop of teens doesn't know anything about computers because they came up on Windows and Mac systems. When I was a teener hacking was pretty cool and got you respect on the BBS scene. These days kids just aren't into that sort of thing. I gotta give this kid props for even trying, even if he was a script kiddie. He knows a lot more than the rest of his school probably.

Re:hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39727949)

... So I tied an onion to my belt, which was the style at the time...

Hey, it's Zer0C00L! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39727237)

His youthful adventure is about to begin.

Win (1)

jdog90000 (2604783) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727301)

That child is a beast. Too bad he got caught xD

Re:Win (1)

doston (2372830) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727653)

That child is a beast. Too bad he got caught xD

That's what I thought. Thought the same about the barefoot bandit. But fear not, they'll get the kid in college, hook him up with a job and turn him into a cubicle drone in no time.

better tools would solve stupid law enforcement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39727345)

It is sad that we actually need to release a tool to protect script kiddies from stupid laws. The Internet is not a safe place and we shouldn't all lower ourselves to lhe least common denomintator just because we live in a country which has stupid laws. The rule of the Internet is YOUR responsible for your own security. If you choose to use an OS or other software which is full of holes or unpatched that is your own damm fault. If you haven't got a backup system, firewall, and other lockdown mesaures where such systems are critical then it is your own damm fault. There is no reason hacker tools (even if used by script kiddies) need be unfit for the less competent and curious. There should be a built-in safe mode that anonymises the source of the 'hacking'. It is easily doable if the russian mafia, drug cartels, hackers, eff, or similar wanted to make the investment. Tor exists and there are bot networks.

8bit hacking (3, Funny)

tom17 (659054) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727447)

See, the problem was that he is only an 8-bit hacker. He should have stopped at 256 companies or upgraded to 16-bit.

It's the overflows that got him :(

There go his bragging rights. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39727613)

His goal was 420.

Catch him if you can. (0)

InvisibleClergy (1430277) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727673)

When this kid graduates from college, he ought to get all the job offers ever. EVER.

Re:Catch him if you can. (0)

WanQiaoYi (2459934) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727689)

yup, hope the kid gets a good job out of it!

some of the CIOs at the hacked places tell ceo (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727807)

some of the CIOs at the hacked places should tell the ceo. This is what your cost cutting did it got us hacked as you did not give the IT team the funds to upgrade to newer software and hardware.

Re:some of the CIOs at the hacked places tell ceo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39728495)

Or that would be a good opportunity for the CEO to get a new CIO. "your organization is the one that got us into this mess and now you want us to give you more money and you pinkie swear you will get it right this time"

The guys at that level are not playing nice. They are looking to fuck each other over so they can be CEO...

Re:some of the CIOs at the hacked places tell ceo (1)

danbuter (2019760) | more than 2 years ago | (#39728525)

Except that would likely get the CIO fired, as CEOs are incapable of making bad decisions.

15 year old exposes idiocy of 259 companies.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39727869)

There, fixed that for you.

BEULLER!!!!! (1)

retroworks (652802) | more than 2 years ago | (#39727899)

In his defense, the lad said " Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it. "

At least.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39728303)

.. it keeps them off the street.

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