Cloud company ponders charges against teenage hackers

A teenager from Australia and his US counterpart may face charges after hacking into US web-hosting provider PHP Fog and publishing the company's source code and passwords on Twitter

A teenage hacker from Queensland, Australia and his American partner may face criminal charges after hacking into US web-hosting provider PHP Fog and causing the company to shut down over the weekend.

The 16-year-old hacker from Queensland, identified by the company as "Elliot", collaborated with a partner from New York, known only as "John". Working from separate hemispheres, the two exploited a security loophole in the infrastructure of PHP Fog to steal and publish the company's proprietary source code and passwords via Twitter.

Soon after, the Queensland hacker apologised to the company's chief executive officer Lucas Carlson, admitting he should have tipped off the company to the exploit — but this was rejected by Carlson. "We are talking to our legal counsel and the FBI and may press charges," Carlson wrote in a blog post detailing the attack.

For more on this ZDNet UK-selected story, see FBI eyes QLD teen hacker on ZDNet Australia.

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