An Adelaide man has been handed a suspended sentence after pleading guilty to computer hacking offences, with the District Court judge urging the young man to put his skills to use in the IT security industry.
Twenty-year old Anthony Scott Harrison pleaded guilty in July 2010 to seven charges relating to the creation of a virus several years earlier that infected some 3000 computers worldwide, according to court reporters for Adelaide Now.
Harrison had used the virus to view credit card information, which was later used to funnel funds from victim's bank accounts into his own.
In pushing for a lighter sentence, Harrison's defence team had argued that their client was willing to use his skills legitimately in the IT security industry.
District Court judge Paul Rice handed Harrison a two year and eight month suspended sentence, predicated on three years of good behaviour.
Rice noted that Harrison had been an unemployed, bored teenager that was "obsessed with computers" at the time of the offence.
"You are obviously very skilled with the use of computers and you should endeavour to put those skills to use in a legal way," the judge reportedly said.
The judge was far from impressed, however, that Harrison had opted to sell his hacking tools on the internet for other hackers to exploit.
In December, Judge Rice had reportedly noted that there was little precedent to rely on to formulate a sentence for the crime.