TelstraClear hires AKILL to advise on cybercrime

Telstra's New Zealand subsidiary, TelstraClear, has hired one of the most well-known hackers in the world, 19-year-old Owen Walker.

Walker was hired to give boardroom presentations on cybercrime and security to security and IT employees as well as senior management. The presentations are linked to Telstra's DMZGlobal security suite.

The presentations were completed late last year, and Walker is still covered by a 12-month contract not to work for software security competitors, the Sydney Morning Herald said.

Walker, working under the alias AKILL, was arrested last year, and tried in a NZ court, for his part in the formation of a cyber-crime network accused of stealing at least $20 million from private bank accounts.

Walker, who has admitted to being the ring-leader of hacking group the A-Team, did not steal any money directly, but was paid nearly $31,000 for software he designed to steal passwords and credit cards, the BBC said.

Instead of jail time, Walker was ordered to pay NZ$15,500 ($8757) in damages, and the charges were dropped.

The judge took into account the fact that he was suffering from Asperger's syndrome, and also said a conviction could jeopardize a potentially bright career. At the time, police said they were interested in using Walker's skills to fight cyber-crime.

Walker developed a botnet which infected 1.3 million computers, and contained a system to beat anti-virus software and destroy rival botnets, said.