Teenager is brains behind cyber crime ring

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The unique virus developed by the 18-year-old New Zealander infected more than a million computers worldwide

1 April 2008

A New Zealand hacker has confessed to being the brains behind an international cyber crime ring that infected more than a million computers worldwide, via the Netherlands.

Eighteen-year-old Owen Thor Walker developed a unique virus that could not be detected by virus scanners. The virus gave access to user names and passwords as well as credit card details. The gang skimmed nearly EUR 14 million from private bank accounts.

The New Zealand police, the FBI and the Dutch authorities launched a joint investigation after an attack involving 50,000 computers crashed the server at the University of Pennsylvania in 2006.

Walker, who will be sentenced in May, faces up to five years in prison.

[Copyright Radio Netherlands 2008]

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