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[ISN] Computer hacker claims Hackett
From: InfoSec News (isnC4I.ORG)
Date: Fri Nov 17 2000 - 21:07:10 CST
21:09 AEDT Friday 17 November 2000
A computer vandal has hacked into the e-mail account of Olympic gold
medallist Grant Hackett and sent dozens of abusive messages to
friends, Australian swim team members and swimming clubs.
A shocked Hackett learned of the e-mail break-in less than a week ago
but is only gradually finding out the extent of the damage as friends
have made contact after receiving the tainted messages.
He believes the hacker is a swimmer with a grudge against him.
The e-mails call Hackett's friends names using the "f-word".
"Somebody actually cracked into my e-mail address and has been sending
abusive e-mails to people on the Australian swim team and people at
certain swimming clubs around Australia and people I don't even know,"
Hackett told AAP today.
"It's causing me a fair bit of problems right now and I'd love to
catch the person."
Hackett believes at least 50 e-mails have been sent by the hacker but
the number could be far higher. The content of the messages, he said,
was vindictive and at times, very personal.
"I wouldn't like to go into it. Just basically things trying to get
into my relationship with my girlfriend and I. Things that are really
untrue," Hackett said.
"People have sent e-mails to me and he, or whoever it is, has sent
e-mails back to them being abusive, calling them f-word names and tell
them to stop sending me letters and trying to break up friendships
with people I know.
"It's a bit harsh - there's some sickos out there."
>From the disturbing content of the e-mails the 1500m champion believes
the cyber impersonator is a swimmer who has a personal grudge against
"It's obviously some one involved in swimming to be able to have all
these swimming addresses," Hackett said.
"It's somebody in the swimming world who has some sort of a problem,
some sort of mental disability I guess."
Hackett opened the Hotmail e-mail account about two years ago. During
the five months of his Olympic preparations he did not check the
service. Three weeks ago he attempted to log on to the account and
found his password had changed and a secret password message had been
replaced with another message containing "something quite rude".
"I've gone, 'somebody's got into my Hotmail and started doing
something with my account trying to be a smart arse'."
Hackett wasn't overly concerned until receiving calls over the last
week from friends responding to a flurry of insulting e-mails they
believed had come from the champion swimmer.
"All of a sudden one day you are getting phone calls from people
saying 'What's this?'"
Hackett has alerted Australian Swimming and plans to lodge a police
complaint in an effort to find the hacker and have the person
But his biggest headache is trying to contact all of the people who
have received offensive e-mails in his name.
"I want to get the message out there. It's just not me," he said.
Australian Swimming media director, Ian Hanson, said today it was
unclear how much damage had been done but all of Australian swim team
would be notified of the e-mail break-in.
"Obviously it serves as a warning not only to our swimmers but to any
high profile people, any kids out there, to be careful," Hanson said.
On its Hotmail website Microsoft Corporation reports that it has 65
million accounts world wide and recommends that users change their
passwords regularly to guard against hackers.
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