March 22, 2006
A VICTORIAN man has been charged over a series of high profile
international internet hacking attacks.
The 22-year-old was arrested in Melbourne early today after a joint
state and federal investigation into the sophisticated attacks on
internet relay chat (IRC) servers in Australia in 2005, the federal
The Belgian Federal Computer Crime unit tipped Australian authorities
off to the attacks, which used remotely controlled computer networks
known as botnets.
The US, Singapore and Austria also were affected by the hacking
attacks on Australian IRC servers.
Botnets are made up of bots, which spread by taking advantage of
common vulnerabilities on unprotected computers, and can attack
servers in their tens of thousands.
Once on a host computer, most often personal home machines, they lay
dormant and wait for a remote command.
NSW, Victorian and Australian Federal Police, as well as the
Australian High Tech Crime Centre (AHTCC) carried out the
The man was charged with using a telecommunications network with
intention to commit a serious offence, which carries a maximum penalty
of 10 years in prison.
He will face Melbourne Magistrate's Court on Friday.
AHTCC director Kevin Zuccato said botnets had been linked to unlawful
"Bots and bot networks continue to be of concern and are linked ... to
a range of other malicious activity including identity theft and
spam," Mr Zuccato said.
He urged people to safeguard their computers with anti-virus software
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