15-Year-Old Hacker Hits 259 Sites in 3 Months
At 15, the trouble most kids get into involves skipping study hall or forgetting to hand in an algebra assignment. Some kids, though, like a 15-year-old Austrian hacker, take trouble to a whole different level.
Austrian police arrested the teen suspect in connection with hacking into 259 websites in a three-month stint beginning in January 2012, ZDNet reported. That's an average of about three hacked sites per day for 90 days.
The unnamed suspect, a student, was accused of infiltrating sites in Austria and elsewhere around the world, scanning sites for vulnerabilities and software bugs he could leverage to gain access to his targets. He has been charged with unlawful access to a computer system. The investigation, led by Europol, is ongoing.
Along with leaking stolen information, the suspect allegedly defaced company websites and bragged on Twitter about his accomplishments, ZDNet said, often using the hacker name "ACK!3STX" in his defacements and making use of anonymizing software to evade detection. When this obfuscation software failed him, police were able to trace the hacks to the suspect's address and obtain a search warrant, ZDNet said. (There is no Twitter user with the handle ACK!3STX.)
According to Austria's Federal Criminal Police Office, the hacker confessed to launching the attacks out of boredom and a "need for admiration." The suspect, ZDNet said, may have also been influenced by the headline-grabbing hacks perpetrated by Anonymous and its offshoots.