Aussie arrested in international hacking incident

Internet Relay Chat and all that

A 22-year-old bloke was arrested in Melbourne last week in connection with a series of alleged attacks on a number of Internet Relay Chat (IRC) servers during 2005.

The man, which hails from the state of Victoria, has not been named, but Aussie reports suggest that the Belgian federal computer crime unit tipped off Australian authorities about the attacks, which used remotely controlled computer networks known as botnets.

According to MSN Oz news, systems in the US, Singapore and Austria were also affected by the hacking attacks on Australian IRC servers.

The man, who appeared briefly in Melbourne court last week, has been charged with "using a telecommunications network with intention to commit a serious offence," which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

The case is thought to be one of the first of its type in the world, although precise details will be revealed when - and if - the case gets rolling in the Aussie courts later this year...