Telco hires Kiwi hacker

21:49, Mar 31 2009

The Whitianga teenager who brought a US university to its knees with his hacking antics has been hired by a telecommunications company.

Owen Thor Walker, 19, offending under the name Akill became the subject of a United States Federal Bureau of Investigation cyber crime investigation spanning the US, Europe and New Zealand.

Starting as a 16-year-old at school, Mr Walker designed "botnets", which are a network of hacked computers able to be controlled via the internet by a single computer. He came up with a system that beat anti-virus software, which spread automatically, and it destroyed rival bot codes.

His botnet reached at least 1.3 million computers.

He pleaded guilty to six cyber crime charges but when he ended up in the High Court at Hamilton, Justice Potter did not convict him though ordered him to pay a share of damages caused to hacked computers and to stay away from computers.

TelstraClear spokesman Chris Mirams said they had contracted Mr Walker for seminars and advertising which had been completed by late last year.


TelstraClear had spoken to police who investigated the hacking and they had considered Justice Potter's rulings. They also spoke with Mr Walker and his mother.

He did not have access to computers of the TelstraClear network.

"We found him pleasant to deal with and he genuinely wanted to help New Zealand businesses by sharing experiences," said Mr Mirams.

Neither Mr Walker nor his mother Shelley Moxham-Whyte could be contacted for comment.

- Waikato Times