http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/0,2106,3520386a11275,00.html By JORDAN BAKER Sydney Morning Herald 22 December 2005 SYDNEY: Police know him as Andrew Sanders, supposed white supremacist. His neighbours know him as a quiet 25-year-old who cannot leave home without his mum. And computer nerds know him as Valiant, international cyber hacker. Years before the Cronulla riots prompted police to allege a link with white supremacists and raid his home, Sanders was the head of a hacking organisation called Halcon, which claimed to be the nation's most popular. Valiant, named after a Dungeons and Dragons character, was well known in the cyber world. He claimed to have developed something "remarkably similar to the New Love computer virus" and was selling copies of the notorious The Anarchist Cookbook autographed by Valiant. But Sanders became more famous than Valiant in 1999 when an organisation he was said to be linked with, the Australian Underground and Empire Loyalist Movement, claimed to have sabotaged the Australian Republican Movement's office. The republicans received a threatening fax from the group. Soon after, their phones and email broke down. Sanders, quoted as the founder of the empire group, denied any involvement: "We are against the republic and I will uphold freedom of speech to the day I die, but we would never go that far," he told the Sydney Morning Herald in 1999. However, Valiant boasted to Wired magazine that he "took out" the republican groups' telecommunications. The Valiant interviewed by the Australian newsletter QuadCon sounds like a computer nut who "lives to programme" and loves to find ways to hack into systems, then alert their administrators so they can plug the hole. But things in the hacking world turned nasty. A rival group said his New Love claims were hollow and "attacked" his house to teach him a lesson, plastering his front door and car with stickers bearing their logo, the SMH reported in 2001. By early 2001, Halcon folded. Sanders blamed another hacking organisation for its demise, which he described as "the rich kids of the local hacking scene", and said the Australian scene was falling apart. These days Sanders lives with his mother, Clara, and girlfriend at a modest home in Willmot. He is an avid "urban explorer", and investigates the tunnels and sewers of Sydney - a so-called tunnel rat. Police arrested him and four others in Ramsgate on Sunday, accusing him of being linked to white supremacist groups. Officers raided his house on Monday and said they found a haul of weapons and suspicious items. He is charged with possessing an unlicensed firearm, a prohibited weapon and an item used for disguising a face. His lawyer said much of it was related to "urban caving" and there was a dispute over the gun licence with the Firearms Registry. Sanders is stuck at home unless escorted by his mother, as part of the bail conditions set by the court. On the tunnelrats.org.au website, Sanders still calls himself Val. When asked to list his occupation, he said: "Troglodyte". His tunnel rat friends support him. Yesterday on the website, "Freak" - also known as Robert Roach - posted a message on the site's guestbook: "He is not a racist, nazi or a supremacist. I am his best mate and as ive [sic] told the media already i am Half leb half greek." Sanders's lawyer, Phillip Gibson, said: "Mr Sanders's association with any organisation in the past is irrelevant to the matters currently before the court." _________________________________________ Earn your Master's degree in Information Security ONLINE www.msia.norwich.edu/csi Study IA management practices and the latest infosec issues. Norwich University is an NSA Center of Excellence.
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