Australian who boasted of hacking to plead not guilty to charges stemming from raid
By Jeremy Kirk
A 17-year-old Australian who in February claimed to have breached networks at Microsoft and Sony will plead not guilty to charges stemming from a police raid on his home.
Interestingly, none of the charges lodged against Dylan Wheeler relate to his claims to have breached the networks and extracted software tools used to develop games for the XBox One and PlayStation systems.
According to documents shared by Wheeler, he is charged with possession of child exploitation material, dishonestly obtaining credit card information, possession of identification information with the intent of committing an offense, and disobeying a data access order to reveal his passwords.
Wheeler said Friday he also faces a weapons charge related to a stun gun that police seized from his family’s home, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
He told Perth Children’s Court on Friday how he intends to plead, and said he will formally plead not guilty in a hearing scheduled for Nov. 11.
Wheeler maintains he is innocent, and believes the charges are in part retribution.
The police “were pissed off at the fact that I went to the media,” Wheeler said.
Western Australian Police in Perth declined to comment on the case.
Eventually, Wheeler said, he expects hacking charges to be filed against him. He has been open about his probes into Microsoft’s and Sony’s networks, and said he told Microsoft about weaknesses in its network.
“To my knowledge they [Microsoft] fixed up a lot of the problems they had,” he said, while Sony “did try and fix the issues.”
But Wheeler did provoke Microsoft. In August 2012, he posted an eBay listing for a “Microsoft Xbox Durango Development Kit.” That same month he was visited by an investigator with Microsoft’s IP Crimes Team.
In February, he placed another eBay auction listing for a “Durango” PC. The listing expired on Feb. 19, the same day police raided his family’s home, seizing three Apple computers, a 1TB hard drive, credit cards, his mobile phone and a stun gun, among other items.
Wheeler’s lawyer, Marc Saupin, said Friday that Australian legal rules prevent counsel from commenting about an ongoing case.