The Auckland student named in connection with the recent denial of service attacks on major US Websites says he is not guilty and is in fact working to help find the perpetrators.
But since yesterday's IDGNet story noting that he was being looked at by the FBI, he has made phone threats and apparent attacks against a New Zealand ISP.
The man, who goes by the name Venomous, contacted IDGNet yesterday to declare his innocence.
"I didn't do it," he said. "All the media is pushing it onto me as a suspect, but we're actually helping the authorities."
Venomous says US media have picked up his name from the IRC (Internet Relay Chat) channel #hackphreak, whose leader upset "me and a couple of mates". Venomous and his friends responded by repeatedly taking the leader's Website offline.
"So they pointed the finger - which everyone is doing at the moment. Because nobody knows who actually did it, they're all pointing the finger at the most likely people."
Venomous says he is following up rumours about who is actually responsible for the DoS attacks along with friends, including an "anti-paedo" group called "Condemnation", whose founders he knows.
This seems to be a reference to Condemned.org, an organisation that tracks and lists servers containing child pornography so they can be targeted by authorities. But far from being friends of Venmous, Condemned.org is run by the principals of #hackphreak, with whom he claims to be feuding.
Venomous, who spoke to the newspaper USA Today last week, says he is also "constantly in contact" with the US 60 Minutes show and has also spoken to ABC News.
He dismisses reports that law enforcement authorities in Australia and US want to speak to him in connection with past cracking exploits.
"A lot of it is rumour. Apparently there's warrants out for my arrest in Australia. I've inquired into that and there doesn't seem to be anything - and how would all these people know before me? I've heard a lot of things - like I'm now living in South Africa."
But yesterday afternoon, Venomous allegedly made telephone threats to Alan Brown of Manawatu Internet Services, who had highlighted yesterday's IDGNet report on IRC. Brown says that shortly afterwards his ISP suffered a so-called smurf attack - a form of denial of service attack that exploits echo requests in the various IP protocols.
Smurf attacks overload network connections and are typically difficult to trace. Brown says his ISP was taken off air until Telecom was able to install filters against the attack.