Skip to main content

New Zealand super-hacker accomplice jailed

Interesting to read that an American who helped Kiwi superhacker Owen Walker launch an electronic attack on an Internet server, has been given 90 days in clink and five years of probation.

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Ryan Goldstein, aged 22, of Philadelphia, has been sentences to to 90 days in a halfway house followed by 180 days of house arrest.

The court said that Goldstein, who is a university student, could serve his sentence during a leave of absence from school or during the summer.

Goldstein, who told the judge he had suffered a "computer addiction" since he was 12, was also fined $30,000 and banned from using a computer for five years except for work or school activities.

Back in February of this year, Goldstein admitted to a single misdemeanour count of aiding and abetting Owen Walker, a self-confessed super-hacker known as AKILL, who used a Botnet to access University of Pennsylvania computer servers.

The New Zealander was discharged without conviction at the High Court in Hamilton in July after admitting six cyber crime charges.

At the time, the courts Walker to pay $9526 as his half share of the damage caused to the university computer and other costs of $5000, and ordered him to hand over his computer-related assets to police.

As reported previously, Walker was allegedly the mastermind of a botnet and received just under $40,000 for his part in the attacks, which included a global adware scheme and the collapse of a computer server at the American university.

The FBI, meanwhile, says that Goldstein and Walker used the US university computer system as a staging ground for a 50,000-computer Botnet attack.

According to US newswire reports, Goldstein, who faced up to a year in prison, had been hoping for no prison time after his lawyer, Ronald Levine, said his client was "filled with constant guilt and remorse".

The AP newswire says that, after the sentence was handed down, Goldstein was initially stoic, but tears streamed down his face as he left the courtroom...