back to article Rogue contractor admits Oz gov hack attacks

An Australian has admitted causing AUS$1m in damage after hacking into the computer systems of the Northern Territory Government and deleting records of thousands of civil servants. Anthony McIntosh, 28, a computer engineer pleaded guilty to 12 computer hacking offences at a hearing before the Northern Territory in Darwin on …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Eh?

    "An Australian has admitted causing AUS$1m in damage"

    "The ploy failed miserably and he was quickly arrested and charged."

    Really? It sounds like his ploy was all of one million Australian dollars successful.

    You can always rely on a Macintosh to screw things up.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Backups

    Whenever I hear about large damages to computer systems, all I can think of is that they didn't have any proper backup system in place to just roll back to.

    PS, 'cause I know what she'll back up to!

  3. Tim Bergel
    Thumb Down

    Brain snap?

    Is this a new disease or a biscuit or what?

  4. An ominous cow herd
    Joke

    McIntosh, you say?

    I knew those Apple guys were no good...

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    *Sigh*

    If anyone causes that much damage to non-revenue-generating IT systems, I would fire the mangers in charge of security and backups.

    This is the Northern Territory right? How long can it take to re-enter *all* the civil servants' records? One temp for a day? How does that hit $1m in costs?

  6. Adrian Esdaile
    Unhappy

    It's the Australian Government, guys...

    so, no, there were no backups.

    We don't have that kind of system downunda, as 'backup' was deemed a rude word by the Great Australian Firewall.

    PS, anyone see the story about the Gov-un-ment's welfare ID database getting blagged? Wonder if it's related.....

    I wouldn't even use Paris as an icon - even she's brighter than the Aussie Gov!

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Hardly hacking NASA...

    For the record, this was not exactly a high-tech hack. There are added local rumours he was significantly drunk on the night in question, and the company is not exactly ranked as the most pleasant organisation to work for.

    Once in the system, it was probably a <Ctrl-A><Del><OK>

    Effective? Yes.

    Elegant? No.

    Traceable? Completely.

    The forensic IT services in Darwin hardly have the equivalent resources as the FBI, and he was picked up pretty much the next day.

    He seemed like a nice enough guy under normal circumstances :)

  8. Steve Evans

    Is he available for hire?

    We've got plenty of spare civil servants in the UK which could be deleted without anyone noticing!

  9. Charybdis

    It's the NT government, not the Pentagon

    Population of this particular capital city is 100,000 ... and they brought some experts from interstate ASAP to help out with the restore.

    There were indeed backups, but it was a little trickier than usual to implement them. He didn't just delete the public servant profiles. He deleted _all_ the logins... all of them... Admin, Support staff, Field Techs, and Government users etc etc

    I don't know what they did in the end to fix this, but it was most likely either:

    - hack open a domain server /

    - rebuild a domain server

    -- Then let the system repopulate the ID's downstream to other server locations

    As for whether he's available for hire in the UK to help out with those troublesome civil servants, he may need to give 6-12 months notice! :)

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