[ISN] Associates Denounce Website Hacker

From: mea culpa (jerichoat_private)
Date: Mon Nov 23 1998 - 17:35:17 PST

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    Forwarded From: Nicholas Charles Brawn <ncb05at_private>
    The controversy surrounding the identity of a hacker who last week broke
    into the Internet Group's computer was compounded yesterday, with
    associates claiming he was a former employee retaliating for being sacked. 
    But the Mt Albert youth at the centre of the furore, Morehu "Max" Whyte,
    claims he destroyed about 4600 Ihug Websites to teach the company a lesson
    for treating his friends badly. 
    He says he is a 15-year-old Metropolitan College student with a string of
    computer nicknames, including Spazrat, Sharkdog and Acid Storm. But
    associates, including a former girlfriend who met him through the
    Internet, say he is 19 years old and was employed by Ihug as a
    problem-solver."  The Internet Group's director, Tim Wood, said claims
    that his company had employed the youth were "a load of rubbish." 
    The company was still investigating the hacker's links to Ihug and would
    continue to consult lawyers today on what legal action might be taken. 
    The former girlfriend, Fiona Martin, said Max Whyte told her he was
    employed by Ihug "and if the helpdesk couldn't help, they'd ask him." 
    A Wellington computer expert, Kerry O'More, a former network supervisor
    who met Max Whyte at an Internet party in Wellington, claimed the hacker's
    real computer log-in was Acid Storm, but he was "borrowing" the identity
    of a 15-year-old user called Spazrat. 
    He said he had proof in his computer log that Acid Storm had worked for
    Ihug, as he had offered to set Mr O'More up with a static Internet address
    through his connections with the company. He was later sacked. 
    Mr O'More, aged 19, said Acid Storm did not actually "hack" into the Ihug
    system to sabotage the Websites, but had used log-ins and accounts he had
    placed in the system when he had authorisation. 
    Max Whyte said yesterday he had never been employed by the Internet Group,
    but had friends who worked for the company. 
    One of them had been suspended simply for knowing him, he said, "but
    there's no way it was an inside job." 
    Max Whyte said he did not believe he had committed any crime and was
    surprised the Internet Group wanted him extradited to the United States to
    face charges. 
    "I don't see what they're trying to do here. If they take me to court I'll
    be 15 years old. 
    "They'd have to take me all the way to California and at the most what
    would they get out of it - community service?" 
    NEW ZEALAND HERALD 23/11/1998 
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