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The British teenager accused of an electronic attack on a major US port was a member of a "hacker's alliance", a court heard yesterday.

Aaron Caffrey, 19, told Southwark Crown Court that he was a member of group called Allied Haxor Elite, the Daily Mirror reports.

However he added that he only "hacked into computer's legally... but never illegally".

Caffrey denies unauthorised computer modifications connected with an attack on the Internet systems of the Port of Houston in September 2001. Last week, prosecutor Paul Addison told the court that a misdirected DDoS attack by Caffrey against an IRC user slowed important information systems at the port to a crawl.

Computer logs from the Port of Houston enabled police to trace the attack back to a computer in Caffrey’s Dorset home. He was arrested by UK police in January 2002.

Caffrey yesterday testified that evidence against him was planted on his machine by attackers (named by him as "Dry Ice and Friction") who used an unspecified Trojan to gain control of his PC and launch the assault. Neil Barrett, an expert witness for the prosecution, testified last week that Caffrey's computer contained no trace of the tell tale signs that would be left by such an attack.

The case continues. ®

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