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.