Teen Hacker Plunders the World

Dennis Faas's picture

What were you doing at age 18? I was mired in a freshman flop, utilizing fantastic studying strategies like reading a history textbook while also trying to watch the latest episode of 'The Simpsons'. It didn't lead to great academic revelations (ahem, that year), and needless to say, nothing much worth reporting.

However, in New Zealand an 18 year old has caught the attention of the entire world. Unnamed by the media for legal reasons, the teen is allegedly responsible for stealing millions from bank accounts spanning the entire globe, all from the comfort of his home hacking network.

According to Kiwi reports, the teen now in custody was the ring leader of a wider network responsible for breaking into more than 1.3 million computers. Although his real name has not been revealed, the country's e-crime unit has identified him by his online identity, "Akill". (Source: monstersandcritics.com)

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, which has contributed to the case significantly, has narrowed Akill's estimated booty to about 9.7 million pounds, or $20 million.

How did the boy do it?

Akill is suspected of employing a ring of worldwide hackers in order to take control of thousands of other computers. By using these systems collectively in a botnet cluster, the teen mastermind could use them to swipe credit cards, crash selected computers, and even take control of various stock trading ventures.

Akill has impressed his pursuers the world over. "He is very bright and very skilled in what he's doing," said Martin Kleintjes, head of New Zealand's e-crime unit. "He hires his services out to others." (Source: guardian.co.uk)

Don't think Akill or his ring is relevant?

Americans, listen up. The teen and a 21-year-old named Ryan Goldstein were allegedly responsible for hacking and then shutting down a University of Pennsylvania engineering server last year.

It's proof that, Kiwi or not, these 'kids' have had a global impact. Hackers should be regarded as threats whether they live in Timbuktu or next door.

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