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[ISN] Accused Internet hacker fights Etisalat charges
From: InfoSec News (isnC4I.ORG)
Date: Tue Mar 27 2001 - 21:28:32 CST
By Eman Abdullah
Lawyers for Lee Ashurst, the Briton accused of hacking into Emirates
Telecommunications Corp's (Etisalat) Internet system, are trying to
prove that he did not use the hacking programmes found on his
The next hearing of the long-running case will take place on April 15
when the defence will submit Ashurst's defence witnesses including
several computer specialists in an effort to discredit the
Ashurst, a 21-year-old computer engineer, allegedly admitted - first
to the police and then to the Public Prosecutor - that he hacked into
the system. He has since denied the charges. The Public Prosecutor has
accused Ashurst of misusing the Internet for illegal purposes under
Article No. 46/b of Federal Law No 1 for 1990 which deals with
Etisalat. He has also been accused under Article No. 380 of Federal
Penal Law No 3 of 1987, which covers the opening of other people's
mail. The prosecution has based its accusations on a Police Criminal
Laboratory report, an Etisalat technical report and Ashurst's alleged
The prosecution claims that last June 21 Ashurst misused the Internet
service for illegal purposes after he installed on his laptop two
hacking programmes known as "Saint" and "Jack the Ripper". These
enabled him to decipher the passwords of several Etisalat employees
through which he entered sites forbidden to network users. The
prosecution also claims that he copied the password file of Etisalat's
managers as well as files of some employee e-mail.
The prosecution has accused him of opening some e-mail by deciphering
their passwords and copied some e-mail messages onto his computer.
Police confiscated Ashurst's personal computer, hard disk and some
books containing instructions on how to hack into networks.
The Etisalat report claims Ashurst's computer contained programmes and
files related to hacking, including programmes for scanning Internet
networks, programmes for deciphering passwords and users' names and
other programmes which teach steps of hacking. The report details the
steps Ashurst followed when he hacked into the system. The report
claims that he entered different parts of the Etisalat system using
the user names of company employees.
The Etisalat technical report details the dates and times when someone
hacked into the company's Internet data authentication system.
Etisalat's Internet engineers have said that on May 16 they noticed
that the network was performing badly and that there was unusual
pressure on the data authentication system.
Following further unusual activity on the network on June 7, a
technical team was formed, and a telephone number registered in the
name of the company where Ashurst was working was identified as being
used by a hacker. The hacker used the user name of an Etisalat
employee responsible for the Internet system. Etisalat also claims to
have found evidence that whoever was hacking into the system was using
the user name of the company Ashurst worked for.
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