[ISN] Italians jailed for breaching Australian defence website

From: InfoSec News (alerts@private)
Date: Tue Jul 11 2006 - 22:45:00 PDT


Desmond O'Grady
July 12, 2006

AN ITALIAN court has sentenced a group of hackers who penetrated the 
Australian Department of Defence's website and about 700 others, including 
the Pentagon's and NASA's.

The Italian hackers penetrated the Defence Department's website on March 
9, 2001.

Italian police specialising in cyber crime identified the group 
responsible four years ago, but their trial ended only last week.

Italian police claim it is the first time in the world that a group of 
hackers, rather than individuals, has been nabbed.

They informed the embassies of the countries concerned during their 

They received collaboration from the US but had no response from 
Australia, they said. "There must have been a link missing somewhere," a 
senior fiscal police official said.

The Australian websites targeted included home pages of federal, state and 
local government agencies.

The group included four young adults and two minors. They had no criminal 
records and admitted their crimes.

The adults each received a 17-month jail sentence from a court in Ravenna. 
The minors' trial in Bologna has not yet concluded.

Colonel Umberto Rapetto, commander of the crime unit, said two of the 
hackers knew each other personally but met their accomplices through 
internet. They began their activities for mischief but could have been 
used for spying or crime, he said.

Other Australian targets included the Queensland Parliament website and 
Gold Coast theme parks. Another state target was the website of EcoRecycle 
Victoria, a State Government agency for environmental sustainability, 
which has since become Sustainability Victoria.

The offenders also hacked into three shire councils in three states: 
Cardinia in Victoria, Coffs Harbour in NSW and Dalrymple in Queensland.

A spokesman for the Australian Federal Police said they did not receive a 
referral regarding the matter and because of this "it is inappropriate to 
comment further".

Australian sites penetrated:


With Nick McKenzie and Selma Milovanovic

Attend the Black Hat Briefings and
Training, Las Vegas July 29 - August 3
2,500+ international security experts from 40 nations,
10 tracks, no vendor pitches.

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.3 : Tue Jul 11 2006 - 22:57:28 PDT