Web site hacker, 13, confesses

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 07 October, 2001, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 07 October, 2001, 12:00am

Police have caught a 13-year-old student thought to be China's youngest computer hacker and are deciding how to punish him for defacing a government-controlled newspaper's home page.

A police officer at Shanghai's Information Supervision and Management Centre, a taskforce that patrols the Internet, said a routine check last week revealed an attack on the home page.

'We found that the Xinmin Evening News had been hacked and immediately launched an investigation,' the officer said. 'The hacker had defaced the newspaper's home page and destroyed a lot of archive material.'

He said police used state-of-the-art surveillance and tracking equipment to locate the offender and visited his Shanghai home several times without finding anyone.

The middle school student had been hiding in his bedroom.

He was detained after his parents came home from a National Day outing on Wednesday and allowed police to search the house. The teenager was found and confessed.

'The boy said he hacked the site for fun and to show off,' the officer said.

'We are still trying to figure out exactly how to punish him.'