Rogue contractor admits Oz gov hack attacks
Cracking spree followed 'brain snap'
An Australian has admitted causing AUS$1m in damage after hacking into the computer systems of the Northern Territory Government and deleting records of thousands of civil servants.
Anthony McIntosh, 28, a computer engineer pleaded guilty to 12 computer hacking offences at a hearing before the Northern Territory in Darwin on Monday. The court heard how McIntosh worked as a computer contractor employed by CSG Service and working on the government systems, before leaving under a cloud in April 2008.
A month later he hacked into systems including the Health Department, Royal Darwin Hospital, Berrimah Prison and the Supreme Court. He also deleted the profile of 10,475 public servants from the systems, The Australian reports. His actions left systems inoperable.
McIntosh used a former colleague's password and a housemate's laptop to carry out the attack. The ploy failed miserably and he was quickly arrested and charged. McIntosh's lawyers asked for a psychological assessment prior to a future sentencing hearing claiming their client had "a brain snap," ABC adds. ®
It's the NT government, not the Pentagon
Population of this particular capital city is 100,000 ... and they brought some experts from interstate ASAP to help out with the restore.
There were indeed backups, but it was a little trickier than usual to implement them. He didn't just delete the public servant profiles. He deleted _all_ the logins... all of them... Admin, Support staff, Field Techs, and Government users etc etc
I don't know what they did in the end to fix this, but it was most likely either:
- hack open a domain server /
- rebuild a domain server
-- Then let the system repopulate the ID's downstream to other server locations
As for whether he's available for hire in the UK to help out with those troublesome civil servants, he may need to give 6-12 months notice! :)
Is he available for hire?
We've got plenty of spare civil servants in the UK which could be deleted without anyone noticing!
If anyone causes that much damage to non-revenue-generating IT systems, I would fire the mangers in charge of security and backups.
This is the Northern Territory right? How long can it take to re-enter *all* the civil servants' records? One temp for a day? How does that hit $1m in costs?