Judge Lets Off Guilty Teenage Hacker

Judge Lets Off Guilty Teenage Hacker

Thor Walker, an 18-year-old from New Zealand, is lucky. At a court hearing in Hamilton, New Zealand, the young man known online as AKILL admitted hacking into computers as part of a group that took about $25 million from people around the world and created a massive botnet of machines. But, the Guardian reports, he was let off without a conviction and having to pay just $11,000 in damages and costs.

When he was arrested last November, following a joint operation involving the FBI, Secret Service, New Zealand and Dutch police, Walker was accused of being the mastermind behind the hacking ring.

But in court police said he’d simply been hired to write software the hackers used to access bank accounts. Walker pleaded guilty to accessing a computer for dishonest purposes, accessing computer systems without authorization, interfering with computer systems and possessing software with the intent to commit crime. However, the judge dismissed the charges and simply ordered him to pay costs and damages.

Walker’s arrest came as part of a crackdown on the hacking group which has seen eight people around the world arrested or convicted, with warrants out on 13 others.

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