A COMPUTER security technician whose arrest as the supposed leader of a notorious hacking group made international headlines could be jailed for 18 months over a hacking prank to annoy a rival.
Matthew Flannery, 25, of Point Clare, boasted on Facebook that ‘‘I’m the leader of LulzSec’’ in April last year after a Narrabri Council website was hacked and sexually explicit text and an image were left on its homepage.
The boast was made to a rival who had earlier been told: ‘‘We gotcha – LOL.’’
Within days Flannery was arrested by the Australian Federal Police and described as a ‘‘considerable risk to Australian society’’ after his boast as the leader of LulzSec was taken seriously. LulzSec was notorious for hacking major corporations and claiming responsibility for hacking into the CIA.
In Gosford Local Court yesterday magistrate Derek Lee was told Flannery was not a leader, but a man who wanted to make fun of a rival through a local government website.
Flannery entered guilty pleas to five charges of making unauthorised modification of data to cause impairment, and dishonestly obtaining the Commonwealth Bank details of a woman.
He was released on bail after the magistrate said an 18-month jail sentence was appropriate, but Flannery would be assessed for home detention.
The computer technician who worked for a security company whose clients included American security firms, the FBI, the CIA and defence departments, said the reference to LulzSec was a joke.
‘‘I sincerely wish and hope I could turn back time,’’ he said.
‘‘I lost something that was extremely important to me. My job.’’