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Drunken BOFH wreaks $1.2m in Oz damage

Will retrain as chef

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When a former IT consultant knocked out a government system in Australia's Northern Territories, costing taxpayers $1.2m (Australian), he was drunk and upset that his fiancee had broken off their engagement.

David Anthony McIntosh told a Northern Territories court he was trying to prove there were security vulnerabilities in the government's IT system. So, on in May of 2008, one month after he resigned his position, he logged into government servers and deleted 10,475 user accounts belonging to employees for the the Health Department, hospital, prison, and Supreme Court.

It took 130 experts, five days, and $1.25m to restore the system, prosecutors told the judge overseeing the prosecution. McIntosh pleaded guilty in January. He's been in jail since his arrest shortly after the crime was committed.

"I'm disgusted with myself for what I did," he wrote in a letter to the court. "I did not for a second think I would end up in jail."

McIntosh said he was able to access the servers using the laptop and password of a former workmate. He was living with her at the time of the break in.

McIntosh, who is scheduled to be sentenced next week, said he plans to retrain as a chef once he completes his incarceration. He had been given a "high level clearance" to maintain the government's entire IT system. If he were to return to IT work, he wouldn't be the first convicted cyberfelon to be trusted with sensitive computer admin responsibilities. ®

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