Self-Taught Hacker Invaded Australian Network
David Cecil, an out-of-work truck driver in Australia, was denied bail over what was labeled as “Australia’s biggest hack attack” in 2011.
Cecil, 25, gave himself the online handle “Evil.” He wasn’t so evil when he showed up in court in the New South Wales community of Orange to answer to over 40 charges connected to a purported attempt to hack Platform Networks, one of thirteen service providers for Australia’s National Broadband Network (NBN).
Federal law enforcement collared Cecil following a six-month probe. Cecil couldn’t keep his mouth shut about his exploits. His bragging in an online chat room led police to start the inquiry which resulted in his arrest.
Law enforcement believes Cecil worked alone. His efforts could have created considerable problems to Platform Networks’ systems — as well as those belonging to other companies. The police say the attacks lacked ability to create severe interruption to the $36 billion, NBN, but they declined to give a reason.
Cecil tunneled into the system and bypassed firewalls as well as each of NBN’s security systems. Cecil was in a place where he was charting their infrastructure and had approached the point where he could collapse it if he desired.
Australian Federal Police (AFP) Commander Grant Edwards disputes that NBN was ever on the brink of breakdown.
Cecil, self-taught, would spend up to twenty hours a day on his computer, was charged with almost 50 counts of unauthorized entrance to, or alteration of, regulated information. He has also been accused of one count of unauthorized modification of data to cause impairment.
Police told ABC New their curiosity was peaked when they received a tip-off about during an investigation of an assault on the website of a university and a Melbourne Corporation.
In a universe where cyber crimes are commonplace, law enforcement says this one stands out because Cecil’s inability to keep quiet.
“He’s was bragging quite often in an online community that he was in this singular company,” Commissioner Gaughan said.
“We think that he intentionally bragged on the Internet and didn’t want to take it down because his control is power and at this point, he was controlling the system.”
The AFP is planning on conducting a forensic exam of the hacker’s computers.
Cecil ultimately plead guilty to twenty different charges and was sent to jail for 2.5 years. When he was released, he was handed a one-year, non-supervised parole.