Angry hacker threatened ISP… with an axe

Axe man. Image from ShutterstockA 29-year-old man has admitted hacking into an ISP’s servers and deleting data belonging to the business, after he threatened to burn down its offices and menaced a company director with an axe.

Bryce Kingsley Quilley, of Tailem Bend, South Australia, pleaded guilty to three counts of unlawful modification of computer data at the Adelaide firm that he used to work for, one aggravated count of threatening to cause harm and one aggravated count of threatening to damage property.

Clearly Quilley was having some anger management issues on June 14th last year, when on three separate occasions he hacked into the company’s servers using confidential passwords and information, menaced the company director with an axe and threatened to burn down the building.

At the time, South Australian police described the incident as one the most serious cases of computer crime they had ever investigated.

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I don’t know the details of what drove Quilley to hack into his former employer and start waving an axe around, but clearly he wasn’t a happy chappy.

If you find yourself disgruntled with a former employer, don’t take revenge by breaking into computer systems even if you do happen to know the passwords. Just because something can be done, doesn’t mean it should be done.

Oh, and if you’re a hot-headed type of fellow – leave the axe safely in the shed.

Quilley has been remanded on bail, pending sentencing later this year.

Axe man image, courtesy of Shutterstock.


Graham Cluley is an award-winning keynote speaker who has given presentations around the world about cybersecurity, hackers, and online privacy. A veteran of the computer security industry since the early 1990s, he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows, makes regular media appearances, and is the co-host of the popular "Smashing Security" podcast. Follow him on Twitter, Mastodon, Threads, Bluesky, or drop him an email.

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