One of the leaders of the international hacking ring Lulzsec was caught when he broke into a website belonging to a local authority in northwestern New South Wales, ‘Straya.
Matthew Trevor Flannery, 24, from the Central Coast, has been charged with gaining unauthorised access to, and altering, restricted data on Narrabri Shire Council’s website.
Sydney’s Central Local Court was told that Flannery uploaded a file which disrupted the site’s function.
Flannery, who used the online handle Aush0k, did not enter a plea to three separate charges of unauthorised access to and modification of computer data.
According to the Australian, if the charges are proven he could face 12 years in jail.
The case was adjourned to Woy Woy Local Court on August 6, with Flannery’s bail continued until that date.
His main claim to fame is that he said he was a leader of LulzSec, an offshoot of the Anonymous hacking collective.
LulzSec claimed credit for a series of attacks in 2011, including against America’s CIA and the UK’s Sun newspaper.
At the time of the Narrabri attack, he was working in Sydney as an overnight IT help desk assistant, employed by Content Security in North Ryde to provide advice to a US client.
The council he hacked was more than 520km away, in the heart of the state’s cotton farming community. In fact the only reason it is famous is that the town of Wee Waa hosted the global album launch of French electro pop act Daft Punk in May.