Wiz Kid Hacker Now Works to Stop Botnet Menace: Hired as Cyber-Crime Expert

March 25, 2009

(ChattahBox)—A report out today says New Zealand teen hacker, Owen Thor Walker, arrested in 2007 for writing code for an international cyber-crime botnet, now has a new gig as a cyber-crime consultant for TelstraClear, one of the largest telecommunications companies in New Zealand. Company officials say Walker’s hacking skills can help defend its networks against cyber-threats and help its customers secure their systems against cyber attacks. Walker was caught after a lengthy international investigation, including police from the US and the Netherlands, who traced him to the botnet cyber attack on the University of Pennsylvania in 2006, which crashed its servers.

Investigators said Walker’s code was “…the most advanced” they had ever encountered. The criminal charges against Walker were dismissed after he plead guilty to various computer crimes, paid a fine, turned over the money he made, and released his code to authorities. Judge Judith Potter decided to dismiss the charges against Walker, taking into account his superior skills that could be used to help authorities fight cyber crime.

Walker suffers from a type of autism called Asperger’s Syndrome, which impairs a person’s ability to interact socially with others. People with Asperger’s can block out the rest of the world and focus all their attention on a single subject, and in fact excel at it at a genius level, like Walker seems to have accomplished with his computer skills. Researchers speculate that perhaps Einstein, Michelangelo and Socrates, may have suffered from Asperger’s.

Walker, using “Akill” as his online code name, began writing his advanced software code while still in High School. Soon, cyber criminals began seeking him out to write code for their botnets, which gave them easy access to user names, passwords and credit card numbers, setting in motion a world wide cyber crime enterprise. Investigators say the criminal botnet infiltrated an estimated 1.3 million computers, and stole more than $20 million by hacking into banks. For his part, Walker didn’t receive cash directly from the thefts, but he earned $31,000 dollars for his code, which he returned to the government.

Walker also designed an encrypted virus that infected millions of user’s computers, and was undetected by anti-virus software. TelstraClear is happy to have Walker on board and expects his advanced computer skills will help the company combat the growing problem of international cyber-criminal botnets. The former criminal teen hacker is now a cyber-crime fighter, busy conducting cyber-threat seminars for top management and senior security staff.

Source


Comments

3 Responses to “Wiz Kid Hacker Now Works to Stop Botnet Menace: Hired as Cyber-Crime Expert”

  1. Topics about Crimes » Wiz Kid Hacker Now Works to Stop Botnet Menace: Hired as Cyber-Crime… on March 25th, 2009 2:28 pm

    […] Private Officer Breaking News placed an interesting blog post on Wiz Kid Hacker Now Works to Stop Botnet Menace: Hired as Cyber-Crime…Here’s a brief overviewThe criminal charges against Walker were dismissed after he plead guilty to various computer crimes, paid a fine, turned over the money he… […]

  2. Enterprise Anti Virus Software - CA axes 31 staff at Australian security R&D lab - Itwire.com « Enterprise Antivirus Software on March 25th, 2009 6:28 pm

    […] Wiz Kid Hacker Now Works to Stop Botnet Menace: Hired as Cyber-Crime – Chattahbox.com(ChattahBox)—A report out today says New Zealand teen hacker, Owen Thor Walker, arrested in 2007 for writing code for an international cyber-crime botnet, now has a new gig as a cyber-crime consultant for TelstraClear, one of the largest […]

  3. Rising From The Ashes, Owen Thor Walker « Moments In Time on March 25th, 2009 11:39 pm

    […] a hacker Walker was known by the screen name ‘Akill.’ His program enabled the cyber-gang to use their […]

Got something to say? **Please Note** - Comments may be edited for clarity or obscenity, and all comments are published at the discretion of ChattahBox.com - Comments are the opinions of the individuals leaving them, and not of ChattahBox.com or its partners. - Please do not spam or submit comments that use copyright materials, hearsay or are based on reports where the supposed fact or quote is not a matter of public knowledge are also not permitted.