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Hacking into the computer systems of businesses should not be tolerated, Judge Dominic Flatley said in the Queenstown District Court yesterday when he sentenced a Brazilian man to community work and reparations.
Daniel Cabral Schiavini, a 26-year-old seasonal skifield worker, pleaded guilty to the charge of intentionally accessing a computer system, in Queenstown, between June 20 and 25 and again on June 30.
The court heard the offence had taken place at the backpacker Pinewood Lodge.
Schiavini had used his computer to access the wireless network at the hostel, where he was staying, and gained further access to the internal reservation system.
He managed to access his own reservation, and left a message there to let the lodge know he had gained access.
He then approached management to tell them about the security breach in their system, and told them how to fix the flaw.
When management had repaired the breach, they approached him to ask if he could gain access again.
He tried, but was this time unsuccessful.
Through his defence counsel he stated his intentions had not been malicious, claiming he had not caused any damage.
The judge said Schiavini had gained access repeatedly and with intent.
"I do not think you should be turned into a hero. This was a criminal act. If people did not try to do what you did, there would not be a security problem," Judge Flatley said.
"A clear message must be sent.
"This is a serious crime.
"You and others must be shown this kind of offence will not be tolerated."
Schiavini was convicted and sentenced to 100 hours' community service and ordered to pay $1670 reparation.