ISPs pleased with verdict in hacker case

The internet service providers whose customers were affected by convicted hacker Andrew Garrett are pleased with the outcome of the case.

The internet service providers whose customers were affected by convicted hacker Andrew Garrett are pleased with the outcome of the case.

Garrett was accused of 10 counts of fraud, wilful damage and threatening to damage property but convicted on only five - the jury at the Manukau District Court couldn't reach a unanimous decision this week on the remaining charges and judge David Harvey has called for a retrial on those counts.

"Sure we'd like to have seen all the counts against him upheld but we're happy with the end result," says Xtra spokesman Matt Bostwick. "It's a relief that someone's been held to account and it sends a clear message that if you interfere with someone else's computers or systems you'll fall foul of the law," says Bostwick.

He says the fact that half the charges against Garrett are still to be proven highlights the need for a change to the law. "Obviously the new legislation [Crimes Amendment Bill No 6] needs to be introduced to sort through all of this."

Ihug director Tim Wood agrees that the result is important. "I think it's great even though we don't have a ruling on the major charges as of yet. But it's a conviction nonetheless."

Wood says he is waiting to hear how the judge will rule on sentencing to get a real idea of how important the case will be. "This is something we've been keen to see for some time based on our own past experience."

In 1998 Ihug lost over 4500 customer home pages following an assault on its US-based 17GB RAID system, ironically called crash.ihug.co.nz.

"It's a pretty complex issue really. Classifying things like passwords as being tangible or not is an issue - I guess the password itself is intangible but if you use the service then you're committing a crime," says Wood.

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