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Monday, 17 June 2019 09:12

Two Bendigo men charged over DoS of police phone lines

Two Bendigo men charged over DoS of police phone lines Image by cocoparisienne from Pixabay

Two men from Bendigo, aged 27 and 28, have been charged by the Australian Federal Police and Victoria Police in connection with automated denial-of-service attacks on police phone lines in October last year.

Police from both organisations searched three premises in Bendigo on Saturday in connection with the warrants served on the two, a statement from Victoria Police said.

The 28-year-old is alleged to have been the ringleader and has been charged with:

  • "Unauthorised access to data held in a computer, contrary to section 477.1 of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth.) and punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment;
  • "Using a carriage service to make a threat to cause serious harm, contrary to section 474.15(2) of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth.) and punishable by up to seven years imprisonment;
  • "Using a carriage service to menace, harass or cause offence, contrary to section 474.17 of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth.) and punishable by up to three years;
  • "Dishonestly obtaining or dealing with personal financial information, contrary to section 480.4 of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth.) and punishable by up to five years imprisonment; and
  • "Sabotage, contrary to section 247K of the Crimes Act 1958 (Vic) and punishable by up to 25 years imprisonment."

He was jailed and is to face the Bendigo Magistrates Court on Monday.

The 27-year-old was hit with three firearms offences, with the police alleging that he had been in possession of an unregistered firearm in violation of section 6A of the Firearms Act 1996.

He was granted bail and will face court on 8 August.

Chris Goldsmid, AFP acting commander, Cyber Crime Operations, said: "Each occasion a police phone line was unavailable as result of these malicious attacks meant members of the public were unable to access a vital service. This had serious implications for the broader community.

“Some of the attacks included a spate of text messages asking for emergency assistance. People who called the number back reported being verbally abused by a recording on the other end. This created fear, distress and anxiety amongst some of the most vulnerable in our community."

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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