After raid, Australian hacker fears possible arrest

Dylan Wheeler said he won't be surprised if he's arrested for hacking into Microsoft and Sony

By , IDG News Service |  Security

Wheeler, who is studying on his own to pass Cisco network security certification tests, said he scanned Microsoft's IP range and found network weaknesses that would in theory allow a hacker to shut down power to Microsoft server racks, among other problems.

But he said the company appeared never to take him too seriously. That bothers him.

"I could have leaked pretty much any information on the entire Microsoft network," he claimed. "They could have lost a lot more than the specs of a console."

In a statement, Microsoft said it found no evidence that its corporate network had been compromised. The company also said it "did not initiate this law enforcement investigation with this individual, as has been asserted in some of the articles in the media."

Wheeler said he is also responsible for leaking the same type of game development documentation for Sony's forthcoming PlayStation, which was code-named "Orbis." That hack, however, was more difficult than getting inside Microsoft's developer network.

To gain access to the Sony network, Wheeler said, a hacker needs an account that is listed within Sony's IP range. Sony watermarks its documentation so it can be linked to the person who accessed it, he said, "unlike Microsoft, where you can leak entire documentation and you cannot be identified."

Asked if he gained access to Sony's internal network, Wheeler said, "You can say that, yes." He never heard from Sony.

Since Wheeler's plight has become more public, he's attracted an ever-growing number of Twitter followers expressing their support.

He maintains he never sold the documentation he obtained. Wheeler laughed as he described how police asked him during the raid if he had "any large sums of cash."

"I said 'No, of course not,'" he said.

But he does fear prosecution: "At this point, yes. Pretty much any minute they could just come and arrest me."

Send news tips and comments to jeremy_kirk@idg.com. Follow me on Twitter: @jeremy_kirk

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