Aussie hacker tried nicking banking details

A self-taught Aussie hacker infected more than 2,000 computers in Australia and overseas with software  to capture banking details, a court has been told.

Anthony Scott Harrison, 20, taught himself how to hack using sites he found on the world wide wibble. He then put his new found skills to use launching an attack to capture banking details.

Unfortunately,  he was caught when suspicious web activity was spotted and tracked by federal police. Harrison modified and sold software to allow others to infect computers.

Harrison admitted seven charges including four counts of modifying computer data to cause harm.

Defence counsel John Edwards told the South Australian District Court today that from the age of 14 his client had become obsessed with playing online computer games and had become “immersed in the world of cyber fantasy”.

Harrison’s favourite game was a simulated hacking game called Slave Hack which he played for more than 15 hours a day.

Harrison became quite skilled at computer programming and had the capacity to commit serious offending. However, while he could have done a lot of damage, he actually did very little, his brief said.

He took only small amounts of money, and his actions were mostly experimental or the result of youthful curiosity, the court was told.

Apparently he now wants to turn his hand to being an internet security consultant and has asked the judge not to throw him in the slammer.

Harrison will be sentenced on January 13. The judge was told there had been no similar cases across Australia to guide him in regard to what penalty to impose.