By Steve Butcher
February 14, 2006
HE WAS the only Australian member of a small international computer
hacking team - a Melbourne teenager nicknamed Susboy - and he craved
But 19-year-old Stephen Sussich's need to impress his six secret
colleagues in Team Simplicity ended when four carloads of police
arrived at his family home in Essendon.
The ramifications of the dawn raid, which horrified his unsuspecting
parents and woke the neighbours, killed Sussich's curiosity for
The fallout continued yesterday in Melbourne Magistrates Court when
Sussich was convicted and fined $2000 and ordered to pay $3000
compensation to the firm whose server he attacked.
Judy McGillivray, prosecuting, told the court that routine maintenance
last August of Brisbane-based company Webcentral revealed scanning
tools linked to a person with the username mssql. Through another
company, Webcentral had server links to 46,000 credit card holders.
Ms McGillivray said investigations found mssql had illegally put a
"rootkit" - an "intruder's toolkit" - on the server, which can hide
its presence, stop access and close windows behind it.
When the Australian Federal Police High-Tech Crime Centre in Canberra
examined the server, numerous references to Susboy were found.
Ms McGillivray said there was no evidence Sussich accessed any credit
card details or was financially motivated. Sussich, of Jacka Street,
Essendon, pleaded guilty to two charges of unauthorised modification
of data to cause impairment.
Defence lawyer Peter Randles said Sussich was a "normal, decent young
guy" with great computer skills and a talent for breaching security
But Mr Randles said curiosity had got the better of Sussich. The
police raid last September had "killed his illegal curiosity" and he
urged magistrate Lisa Hannan not to convict him.
Ms Hannan said while Sussich had shown remorse, his offences
undermined community confidence in e-commerce.
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