18 Apr 2012

Youngest Hacker in Austria Arrested for Attacks on 259 Companies

Austrian police arrested a 15-year-old boy who allegedly hacked 259 companies in three months, attacking on average three websites a day. He is the youngest hacker ever arrested in the country, according to the Federal Criminal Police Office.

“This case shows both how vulnerable our computer systems are, and on the other hand, it also shows how computer- and technologically-qualified young people are today,” said the Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner in a statement. “They can be - as here - the perpetrator, but also victims.”

The teenager exploited websites with security breaches after scanning the Internet for bugs and vulnerabilities. He then captured user data and login credentials and published the sites’ vulnerabilities online. The 15-year-old also altered the appearance of some of the web pages, Police said.

Ranging from sports to tourism services, the companies hacked were not limited to Austria. Under questioning, the young boy confessed to the attacks, saying he was bored and wanted to prove himself.