Judge to Hacker: Put Your Skills to Better Use

A South Australian judge has given a 21-year-old hacker a break, sentencing him to a three-year suspended sentence. Anthony Scott Harrison was accused of hacking into thousands of computers in Australia and abroad, and infecting them with a virus he developed that stole credit card numbers.

Judge Paul Rice said Harrison told the defendant that he should put his skills to better use, and that his offense was the result of an obsession with computers and learning how to hack.

"You are a person not without a lot of ability but you just used it in the wrong way," the judge said. "I accept this offending was born out of your passion for computers, your naivety and youthful curiosity."

"Whether you can now gain employment in the security IT industry is problematic," he added.

Harrison was given a suspended sentence, which should keep him out of jail if he stays out of trouble.

Source: abc.net.au

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  1. 0
    Bigt says:

    Nah the private and government sector of anti-cyber terrorism need people like this.  I actually hope some agancy picks up this guy and uses him as a consultant.


    The simple truth is, the majority of the IT world is inept, stupid, and don’t know better, we need bad guys on our side to make sure we can stop the other bad guys.  As to the real extent of this guy skills, who knows, but you better believe lots of former hackers who are now working for uncle sam.

  2. 0
    Monte says:

      Agreed… i mean if the results of his hacks were just stupid pranks or some such i can see the judge going easy on him, but this sounds like a honest to god attempt at actual theft! Granted to give the judge the benefit of the doubt, we don’t know the details of the case and there could have been some circumstantial evidence that shows that the guy had no intention of actually using the credit card numbers and thus leant to the idea that he only did it to prove he could (hence the youthful curiosity)… but this is still sounds really lenient and naive. 

  3. 0
    Mr. Stodern says:

    Extremely lenient and naive on the judge’s part. Thousands of computers? Credit card number theft? Youthful curiosity my ass, this punk was going to fill his house with expensive shit at others’ expense. Lock his ass up.

  4. 0
    Dan says:

    It’s nice that there are Judges who recognise the Hacker’s Ethos. Even though this isn’t the best case to acknowledge it.

    Kids who snoop on their neighbours’ wifi or jailbreak phones and consoles for the sake of learning or bypassing abusive terms of service shouldn’t be restrained. Actual theft is not hacking. It’s "Cracking" and no real hackers defend it.

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