Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Teen on hacking charges

Filed under
Web

With just a few touches of the keyboard, he can create absolute havoc.

Reuben - not his real name, because he is facing computer hacking-related charges in Auckland's Youth Court - is a new breed of digital delinquent: young, smart and with the power to unlock all your secrets.

His passion for the internet started at the age of 6.

"I did lots of wagging from primary schools and intermediate schools to stay home and work on the computer," he told the Herald on Sunday.

Reuben, now 16, doesn't go to school any more - he left his last school Auckland Grammar after a term because, as he says: "I didn't fit in." Since then he has completed numerous Microsoft courses. "That's easy, but school work is so boring it is not worth doing, but I know I have to do it sometime."

So now he is slowly working through the NCEA via correspondence, leaving him plenty of time to surf the internet "26 hours a day", he jokes.

He is reluctant to talk about exactly what he does, only saying he spends a lot of time chatting to friends.

But in just a few short years, he has gained notoriety for his online activities - and learned a great deal.

For example, he has managed to become the director of five companies, despite being under the age of 18. It was easy, he says. He just filled in the forms and sent them away, and no one in the Companies Office queried his identity or his age.

Now Reuben is accused of exposing flaws in Telecom's cellphone and landline message systems that police say saw him access the voicemail of police, defence staff and politicians, including Auckland mayor Dick Hubbard.

He has been charged with the unauthorised access of a computer and will appear in the Auckland Youth Court on July 14.

He is also accused of using his computer smarts to set up a company which obtained the management rights to a $1 million-plus radio frequency mistakenly deregistered by Sky Television.

On that, he is facing charges brought by the National Enforcement Unit of the Ministry of Economic Development. He also appears on those charges on July 14.

The unit declined to comment on the case. Reuben also won't comment on specifics, but he claims he is not a hacker, and has not been being deliberately malicious.

Rather, he was just letting the public know how easy it was to gain access to information on the internet. "If I shouldn't be in there, why is it so easy to get in?"

By Adrienne Kohler
The New Zealand Herald

More in Tux Machines

Kodi 14.0 Helix Unwinds

Merry Christmas and happy holidays, everyone! We are proud to announce the release of Kodi 14.0, which comes with a new name, a new logo, and a wide variety of new features, but underneath the new coat of paint remains the same software we all love. A detailed changelog for Kodi 14 can be found under milestones on our code repository, should you be interested. With that said, let’s take a look at some of the features that come with Kodi 14.0. Read more

KaOS ISO 2014.12

KaOS is very proud to announce the availability of the December release of a new stable ISO. This ISO marks two major milestones for this distribution. Since it’s inception almost two years ago, a need to be ready for UEFI installs has always been a priority. That was tied though to getting a modern Qt based installer that could handle such UEFI installs. With this ISO, both are implemented. Read more

Old FOSS Friend & Foe Represents Sony in Hack

Boies, along with three attorneys representing the States, brought Microsoft to it’s knees — or so it seemed at the time. On November 5, 1999, Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson found that Windows dominance on the PC made the company a monopoly and that the company had taken illegal actions against Apple, Java, Netscape, Lotus Notes, RealNetworks, Linux, and others in order to maintain that monopoly. He ordered Microsoft broken in two, with one company producing Windows and another handling all other Microsoft software. As we all know, Judge Jackson’s solution was never implemented. Although an appeals court upheld the verdict against Redmond, the breakup of the company was overturned and sent back to the lower court for a review by a new judge. Two years later, in September, 2001, under the Bush Administration, the DOJ announced that it was no longer seeking the breakup of Microsoft, and in November reached a settlement which California, Connecticut, Iowa, Florida, Kansas, Minnesota, Utah, Virginia and Massachusetts opposed. The settlement basically required Microsoft to share its APIs and appoint a three person panel that would have complete access to Microsoft’s systems, records, and source code for five years. The settlement didn’t require Microsoft to change any code or stop the company from tying additional software with Windows. Additionally, the DOJ did not require Microsoft to change any of its code. Read more

Study: ‘European Parliament should use open source’

The European Parliament should use free software and open standards for all of its ICT systems and data, concludes a study by the EP’s Greens/European Free Alliance: “That is the most appropriate way for the Parliament to meet its own standard of ‘utmost transparency’.” Read more