Pizza boy turned ATM hacker stole nearly $30,000

Graham Cluley

An Australian computer enthusiast who stole 30,000 Australian dollars (approximately US $28,000) from cash machines, using information he found on the internet to hack into ATMs, has escaped a two year jail sentence.

According to media reports, Brian Sommer appeared in Bundaberg District Court this week, charged with hacking into the hard disks of cash machines to change their settings.

23-year-old Sommer, who worked in a central Queensland pizza parlour, hacked into two Hervey Bay cash-in-the-wall machines, stealing the money over a seven month period in 2007, using information he gleaned from an ATM repairman’s manual.

The computer buff used debit cards borrowed from his girlfriend, mother and two friends, as well as his own, to extract the cash. Sommer’s two friends…

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Graham Cluley is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of computer security, hackers, and online privacy. Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley, or drop him an email.