New Zealand Hacker Released As Police, Judge, Prosecutors All Praise His Mad Hacking Skillz

from the resume-builder dept

Well, here’s an odd one. A kid in New Zealand who was arrested for creating software used by an online organized crime group to access people’s usernames, passwords and credit card details has been released and the charges against him dropped. What’s odd about it is all the praise being heaped upon 18-year-old Owen Thor Walker. Prosecutors raved about how the info-grabbing program he wrote was “one of the most advanced they had seen” and the judge said that convicting him would “jeopardise a potentially bright career.” Meanwhile, the police noted they “were interested in using his skills to fight cyber-crime.” While we usually see police and judges overreact to hacking cases, talking about how dangerous some kid and some code can be, this almost seems like the opposite. Not that the kid should necessarily have been convicted, but all this praise just seems like we’ve entered backwards-for-a-day world.

Filed Under: , , ,

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “New Zealand Hacker Released As Police, Judge, Prosecutors All Praise His Mad Hacking Skillz”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Scott says:


He didn’t get away free. He pled guilty. Looks like suspended sentence. Reparations and court costs.

Probably flagged so that every time a botnet incident arises, they’ll consider him as a suspect. And he’ll be working for ‘The Man’ now. So they’ll know where to find him if he misbehaves again.

Yes, he got off light, but not free, and I suspect that Bill M was right and that he cooperated with authorities.

Anonymous Coward says:

Imagine a criminal system that is focused on rehibilitation rather than punishment

What would throwing an 18 year old in prison do, other than ruine his life? Would it deter others? Not likely! Didn’t we all make mistakes when we were young that could have landed us in jail if we were caught or prosecuted to the full extent?

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...