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Australian Police Arrest Two Anonymous Hackers in Connection with 2012 Melbourne IT Security Breach

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Australian police have arrested two alleged hackers in connection to several security breaches, including the unauthorized access and modification of Melbourne IT’s Brisbane network in 2012.

The men claim to be members of hacker group Anonymous, which has taken responsibility for hundreds of prominent security breaches over the years, including DDoS attacks on GoDaddy, and the US Department of Justice. The group typically has a political motive, and often targets government or military websites.

In the case of Melbourne IT, the 2012 hack was reportedly in response to proposals submitted to Australian parliament that would enforce mandatory data retention. The hackers aimed to show how a lack of security at ISPs and telecos makes them unable to protect information collected through data retention policies.

The Australian Federal Police arrested the men this week after searching their homes and seizing several computer hard drives and other equipment that, due to the amount of content stored on them, will take authorities months to analyze.

It is alleged that the men knew each other online and targeted organizations including Melbourne IT, Netspeed ISP, as well as the Indonesian government’s web servers.

Adam John Bennett, 40, was charged with aiding the unauthorized modification of Melbourne IT’s network, as well as unauthorized modification of the Indonesian government’s web servers to cause impairment, according to a report by the Sydney Morning Herald.

The 18-year-old man was charged with unauthorized modification of data to Netseed ISP in Canberra to cause impairment and unauthorized access and modiification of data belonging to the ACT Long Service Leave Board.

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  1. DoktorThomas™

    Data storage and retention by corporate is inherently flawed; in the corporate culture, as well government, all problems, errors and liability are always someone else's bailiwick and responsibility. No one at any level does much more than count their money. Ergo, the only good answer to mega-cracks and hacks is to decentralize personal data and to not allow any non-human person not the owner to have nor store personal information. As usual some low levels are being targeted as the boobs in this mess, when good IT should have known seconds after breach. [Aside: I have never thought much of the eBay/Paypal IT product.] Unfortunately, as with government, the non-threat users will bear the brunt of the load additional "security" will require. A much more narrowly tailored response is absolutely necessary. Why burden the good user just because a few dudes out-smarted corporate's not so smart staffing? I'm sure Target is getting the message... Especially severe restraints should put on all governments at all levels; perhaps returning it to decentralized paper files is the only effective answer. Neither government nor corporations were intended nor designed to be efficient. The evidence is in; the proof repeated regularly. Neither is trustworthy with the information of others. Res ipsa loquitor; res discernitur.

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