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'Evil' truckie charged with NBN provider attack

Media falls into NBN security-gasm; did AFP also nab Distribute.IT attacker?

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A 25 year old self-taught hacker has been arrested by federal police in Australia over 50 malicious attacks on Platform Networks, a trial service provider for NBN Co.

The unemployed truck driver from regional NSW, known in hacking circles as the notorious ‘Evil’ or ‘Evil from eftel’, was in control of Platform Networks for six weeks, according to police.

Evil allegedly used programs to generate passwords randomly and he used other methods to gain security information to access Platform Network's system.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the hacker could have taken down the ISP's entire network.

Federal police Assistant Commissione Neil Gaughan told the Herald that the alleged hacker did not appear to have access to confidential information, but had been mapping the background of the IT system.

‘Evil’ is well known as a serial bragger on chat rooms over attacks which appear to be motivated by malevolent mischief-making rather than commercial gain.

Australian Federal Police have investigated the suspect's antics for some time. In June he was thought to be associated with a vicious and sustained attack, on the Melbourne hosting company Distribute.IT, which subsequently crippled the company.

In the initial stage of the attack, a defacement message bearing Evil's tag appeared on the company's website. however it has yet to be established if he was the culprit . Also in January the University of Sydney’s website was defaced - and posts appeared from Evil on chat rooms bragging that he was the architect of the hack.

Evil is scheduled to face Orange Local Court today on 49 counts of unauthorised access to restricted data and one count of unauthorised modification of data. ®

Bootnote: The association between Evil's target, Platform Networks, and the National Broadband Network, is too delicious for mainstream media to resist. As a result, world+dog is equating the attack on Platform as "hacking the NBN". It's rather like saying that attacking someone who uses Telstra's network has "hacked Telstra".

Update: NBN Co, the company building the National Broadband Network, has been so overwhelmed by the media confusion surrounding the story that it has just released a statement that its network was not affected by the Platform Networks intrusion. "The company said to be involved is not yet offering services over the NBN", it says.

As was pointed out to El Reg by Internode's John Lindsay, who tweets as @bigjsl, NBN Co doesn't have any retailer IT interfaces in operation yet, making any infiltration from a provider to the NBN extremely improbable. ®

Platform Networks response, AFP press conference report here. ®

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