Australian charged with inciting Anonymous cyberattacks on spy agencies

The 2013 attacks were prompted by the release of Edward Snowden's documents

 

Dell Cameron

Tech

Published Feb 25, 2015   Updated May 29, 2021, 10:59 am CDT

Australian authorities have charged a 21-year-old man from Melbourne in connection with cyberattacks targeting the country’s intelligence-agency websites.

In the Melbourne Magistrates Court this week, Mathew John Hutchison was accused of contacting Indonesian hackers in late 2013 and directing them to attack the websites of the Australian Secret Intelligence Organization (ASIO), the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD), and the Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS).

Hutchison is also allegedly responsible for creating an Anonymous video under the name “Operation Aus,” in which he threatens Indonesia hackers for targeting non-government websites.

“We bid you, as a fellow brother, to focus on your main target—governments and spy agencies—and leave the innocent bystanders out of this,” the video says. “If you choose to disagree, then you should feel the full wrath of our fellow legion.”

The targeting of Australian websites by Indonesian hackers followed reports published by the Guardian and Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) that Australian spies targeted Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and his wife, along with other senior officials.

The allegations, based on secret documents leaked by National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden, prompted Indonesia to recall its ambassador to Australia. Following publication of the reports, roughly 500 protesters gathered outside the Australian embassy in Jakarta, some pelting the building with eggs and red paint.

According to ABC, Hutchison faces two charges of “urging unknown person to commit an offense of causing an unauthorized impairment of electronic communication to or from a computer.” 

H/T ABC | Photo via bjpcorp/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

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*First Published: Feb 25, 2015, 5:44 pm CST