Feeds

Mum defends suspected Kiwi botmaster

Misunderstood youth

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

New Zealand reporters have unearthed the identity and background of a teenage hacker at the centre of an international cybercrime investigation.

Owen Walker, 18, who police identified only by his online moniker of AKILL, was arrested last week as part of a larger FBI-led operation aimed at cracking down on the trade in compromised PCs, codenamed Operation Bot Roast. The teenager from the small town of Whitianga in New Zealand's North Island was bullied at school and suffers from Asperger's syndrome, a mild form of autism associated with poor social skills but proficiency in an area of special interest.

Walker's mum, Shell Moxham-Whyte, told the New Zealand Herald that she had no idea about her son's alleged involvement in cybercrime prior to his arrest although she was well aware of his interest in computing since a young age. The teenager, who was released on police bail after he was quizzed by police last week, is staying with relatives. Moxham-Whyte said the family has been under immense pressure since her son was named in connection with the international cybercrime inquiry on Saturday.

Police plan to question Walker on completion of a forensic examination of his computers, which were seized from the family home at the same time he was taken in for questioning last Wednesday. The teenager has since lost his job as a programmer at Trio Software Development. Former employers and even police forensic investigators are united in describing the youngster as a "brilliant computer programmer", the New Zealand Herald reports. Glenn Campbell, a director at Walker's former employer Trio, suggested Walker did not actively set out to get involved in cybercrime.

Moxham-Whyte described her son as a bright boy who has loved computers since he was young. Friends said Walker (AKA Snow Whyte) was something of a loner at school who was picked on by bullies. He completed his education using a correspondence course after leaving school early at 14 (year nine). ®

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
Google recommends pronounceable passwords
Super Chrome goes into battle with Mr Mxyzptlk
Infosec geniuses hack a Canon PRINTER and install DOOM
Internet of Stuff securo-cockups strike yet again
Snowden, Dotcom, throw bombs into NZ election campaign
Claim of tapped undersea cable refuted by Kiwi PM as Kim claims extradition plot
Reddit wipes clean leaked celeb nudie pics, tells users to zip it
Now we've had all THAT TRAFFIC, we 'deplore' this theft
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
YouTube, Amazon and Yahoo! caught in malvertising mess
Cisco says 'Kyle and Stan' attack is spreading through compromised ad networks
TorrentLocker unpicked: Crypto coding shocker defeats extortionists
Lousy XOR opens door into which victims can shove a foot
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.