TWO hours before the NRL season kicked off, a young hacker was politely told to shut down his illegal website which had been streaming live matches – or face going to jail.
The NRLfixit.com.au website was started last season by a Rozelle youngster just out of high school. In two days, “Liam” – as he wants to be known – had 6000 members and by the end of last season the number had grown to 12,000. He believed he would have tripled that this year. Flushed with the success of his site, the young entrepreneur moved from amateur hacker to budding businessman and began looking for sponsors. But NRL officials were not impressed.
“Organisations pay large sums of money for the rights to televise these matches,” NRL spokesman John Brady said. “And, like any brand, we have to protect ourselves and our clients against piracy.”
The NRL realised someone was streaming their games – but hunting down who, where and how was beyond their expertise. Enter private eye and cyber crime expert Ken Gamble. What he found amazed him. The site was sourced back to the young hacker, a Wests Tigers supporter, in the heart of Balmain territory. “This was a smart kid with no formal training but an absolute computer genius,” Mr Gamble said. A team of cyber experts working for Mr Gamble tracked down 20-year-old Liam, living at home with his mum and dad at Rozelle. Internet Fraud Watchdog and the International Association of Cybercrime Prevention will hold the 4th Regional Conference on Cybercrime and International Criminal Co-operation in Sydney on May 19 and 20.
IFW Global has a strong operations centre in the heart of Asia, which is the world’s largest hub for many types of cybercrime. We also have offices elsewhere around the globe in Europe, USA and Oceania.