A computer hacker who caused major disruption to the Bayfield
High School website last year had already done the same thing
to the Methodist Mission website but was now "hoping to use
his talent for good'', the Dunedin District Court heard
Bayfield High School ex-pupil Jake Scott Gibbons (19), of
Dunedin, admitted last November intentionally, and without
authority, causing the high school's computer system to fail
between February 27 and March 8 last year.
He also admitted an unrelated charge of intentionally
damaging a door and a window on November 10.
When he appeared for sentence yesterday, Gibbons was facing
two additional charges, one of which involved unlawfully
causing the Methodist Mission website to fail in November
Prosecutor Acting Sergeant Kate Saxton said the defendant, in
2012, was a student at Approach, which was part of the
Methodist Mission. On November 7 that year, he used his home
computer to initiate a denial of service (DOS) attack on the
Methodist Mission website.
Two days later, the speed of the internet was noticed to have
slowed and during the next week the website was either not
responsive or severely compromised.
The database administrator and others spent 35 hours working
on the DOS attack, the cost to the Methodist Mission being
over $2000, Acting Sgt Saxton said.
When the attack was eventually traced to him, Gibbons
admitted responsibility but said he did not think it would
have been successful.
As well as the Methodist Mission website charge, he yesterday
admitted a Crimes Act assault on security guard Jamie Spurr
at the Andersons Bay Rd McDonald's Family Restaurant on
Gibbons became angry and abusive when Mr Spurr refused to
allow him in because he was intoxicated, Acting Sgt Saxton
said. His friends removed him but he later returned, smashed
a bottle on the ground then threw another bottle towards the
guard, hitting him above the eye.
As a result, Mr Spurr sustained a cut and a graze around the
eye, as well as some swelling and bruising. Because he could
not work the next day, he lost $162.10 of his wages as a
Public defender Andrew Dawson said the role of alcohol in the
defendant's life should be examined.
There was clearly a link between alcohol and the recent
assault, Mr Dawson said.
But Gibbons had attended a restorative justice conference
with the Bayfield High School people which was positive. He
was also enrolling in an IT course and was "hoping to use his
talent for good''.
Judge Dominic Flatley told Gibbons interfering with computer
systems was "a serious matter''.
"You caused a lot of people a lot of anxiety to rectify the
problems caused by you.''
And the judge said he was pleased to hear the defendant was
going to enrol in an IT course.
"You obviously have skills but you need to use them
positively, not negatively,'' he said.
He warned Gibbons there had to be "a turning point''.
"Any more of this sort of offending and you are going to get
yourself into serious trouble,'' the judge said.
On each charge, he sentenced Gibbons to concurrent terms of
150 hours' community work and nine months' supervision, with
drug and alcohol counselling and therapeutic interventions as
directed and any other counselling and treatment as directed.
Gibbons was also ordered to pay reparation of $1000 each to
the Methodist Mission and Bayfield High School and $162.10 to