NZ Teenager Is Alleged Hacker Mastermind
'AKILL' was under 18 when he reportedly led hacks that cost $20M
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 30, 2007 8:00 AM CST
Hackers Gather For Chaos Communication Camp 2007   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – New Zealand police working with FBI today took into custody an 18-year-old accused of leading a cybercrime network responsible for $20 million worth of damage. Known by the name “AKILL,” the alleged teenaged mastermind wrote software that could control computers and then sold his skills to other hackers. Police questioned and then released the suspect, who was a minor when his alleged offenses began, AP reports. 

The hackers were able to manipulate thousands of infected computers—known as botnets—stealing credit card information and manipulating stock trades, ultimately pilfering millions of dollars. Eight people have been indicted, pled guilty or been convicted in the investigation so far. The teenaged hacker could face 10 years in prison.