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Dotcom flees reporters after hacking boast

Internet Party founder Kim Dotcom is ducking interviews after after a hacking boast over the weekend.

"I hacked our German credit rating system and changed our prime minister’s credit rating to zero because I didn’t like the guy," Mr Dotcom said during his speech at the party's campaign launch Sunday.

"And you have all figured by now there’s another prime minister I don’t like."

The brag raised fresh questions about whether the accused pirate could be behind Whaledump, the Twitter account run by a person who claims to be the hacker who supplied stolen emails and documents to Dirty Politics author Nicky Hager — something he has previously denied.

However, Mr Dotcom refused interviews after the speech.

Internet Party press secretary Pam Corkery lashed out at media who wanted to question the Internet Party founder yesterday, telling one, "You want to interview Kim, who said no interviews, about a 19-year-old story. You work in news you puffed up little sh*t. ... He's [Dotcom] is not a candidate. He doesn't owe you anything. When will you glove puppets of Cameron Slater just piss off." (See video of the incident here).

After his appearance at the campaign launch, Mr Dotcom was bundled into a car while minders shielded him from reporters.

On Breakfast this morning, Internet Party leader Laila Harre said Ms Corkery was "very apologetic" over losing her temper.

Ms Harre also criticised media for not covering the next part of Mr Dotcom's speech, in which he detailed how he went on to use his hacking skills for good. He gained a "$1 million" loan from the German government and used it to employ around 50 staff for his security consulting company.

Mr Dotcom (then going by his birth name, Kim Schmitz) had a string of convictions in the mid to late 1990s, but did not have to serve a two-year jail sentence because of his age. A Wired profile says:

... He also claimed to have hacked NASA and said that he had accessed Pentagon systems to read top-secret information on Saddam Hussein during the Gulf War.

There’s no record to substantiate most of this; perhaps some of it is true. What he did do was steal phone calling card codes and conduct a premium number fraud similar to the recent rash of Filipino phreaking frauds. He bought stolen phone card account information from American hackers. After setting up premium toll chat lines in Hong Kong and in the Caribbean, he used a “war dialer” program to call the lines using the stolen card numbers—ringing up €61,000 in ill-gained profits.

Schmitz’s efforts to branch into the “legit” world of security consulting with his security company Data Protect initially backfired by exposing his real identity—and by allowing it to be connected to his hacker credentials. In March of 1994, he was arrested by police for trafficking in stolen phone calling card numbers. He was held in custody for a month, then arrested again on additional hacking charges shortly afterward — and again released. In 1998, he was convicted of 11 counts of computer fraud, 10 counts of data espionage, and an assortment of other charges. He received a two-year suspended sentence—because, at just 20, he was declared “under age” at the time the crimes were committed.

But Schmitz used the notoriety to boost his security business. He soon landed a security contract for Data Protect with the airline Lufthansa by demonstrating an apparent security vulnerability—though according to claims by others in the German hacking community, his connection to the airline was thanks to collaboration with an insider there, and to the hacking skills of an accomplice.

Ms Harre said media should concentrate on Internet Mana's newly announced job creation policy, which includes a $400 million for "digital workforce development."

The party says it would redirect around 20% of ACC's current reserves to fund the initiative.

Mr Dotcom's turnaround story was an example of how a hands-on digital economy strategy could work, she said.

Meanwhile, the Mega founder is back in the Supreme Court today for the latest round of his extradition fight.

The Court of Appeal overruled a 2012 High Court ruling that declared the warrants for the January 20,2013 raid on his rented mansion invalid because they weren't sufficiently specific and didn't properly describe his alleged offences. Mr Dotcom is today appealing that decision.

Comments and questions

Vexatious political saboteur?

Does treason and sedition need to be put back on the statute books?

Buying stale and failed politicians, buying a political party and all to be used as a political stalking / Trojan horse… then, joined together with an assortment of minor party rabble and all in the biggest game of “save my skin” - clearly demonstrates how perverted the entry into our political system has become.

When our political system can be “hijacked” so easily, it makes one cringe at the sacrifices our grand parents endured to ensure NZ keeps and maintains standards with our democracy.

"Sedition" and "Treason" you mean like the National Party's covert and highly organised black-ops campaigns to rob NZ of its democracy?

Paul - it looks like you've been drinking far too much Leftie cool-aid instead of getting plenty more ventilation during your breaks when using solvent-based paints in exceptionally enclosed spaces.

Just because Hager "claims" something and it's in his book of fictional political stories does not make it true.

Just like when a political "leader" claims in their CV they created Fonterra years before it's inception... don't believe everything you read...

Hagar has made so many leaps of imagination, it's a wonder he doesn't represent NZ at the Long Jump Olympics... but I guess that would require his own work...

Well said.

Actually I make a point of avoiding leftist commentary - much more interested in what and how the other side thinks - my opinion on these matters are based solely on words straight from National horse's mouths, e.g. Campaign Manager Simon Lusk . His emails have laid out the strategy pretty plainly - if anyone is "hijacking" the political system in NZ, it's the dark underbelly of the National Park and its associates. No "dot-joining" required.

And I get adequate ventilation, as I'm sure my perfect grammar and punctuation attests to, TYVM.

Blokey boy, you come across as a bigoted leech, forever sucking sustenance out of others so as to feed what mind you have.

Ease up ffs, choose a political entity and put your efforts into supporting it.

Panic not. On TV last night the supporters looked for all the world like the failed Destiny Church party who were going to run the country after the last election. Same fate awaits this lot although they might get one in for one term on Harawira's coat-tails. Don't you just love MMP.

So why are the likes of Winston Peters keeping quiet about the real hijacking of NZ by rich migrants?

Something that gamers ought to know is that he also had hacked (and damaged) the hosting servers of an online gaming group after he got kicked out for cheating (using an aimbot). That is the kind of petty w****** we are talking about.

Mana and Larre and Pam are happy associating with a self-admitted criminal. So much for mana - an indictment on a word from a people who use the word for honorable pursuits.

Come, come, GrumpyKiwi.

That hacking was carried out by Kim Dotcom's office, without Kim's knowledge. Kim was never told about it.

In fact, Kim was in Maui when those events occurred.

Oh great, so they are going to strip mine ACC to increase our exports of tertiary qualified IT professionals to Australia and the UK.

Makes sense.

Never mind the fact that ACC is investing a lot of that money into NZ companies, giving them much needed capital to grow and actually employ some of these people.

All bought to you by a convicted criminal. Disgraceful. Shame on you Harre, Corkery et all.

Let's hope the average New Zealander can see through the insanity of this side show and get out on election day and cast their vote(s) for a party that has New Zealand's interest at heart.

What a sorry state of affairs, and again KDC gets what he wants......more media coverage and distraction from real/worthy matters coming up to an election.....

I hope Tama Iti's decision to support the Maori Party will bring Maori voters to their senses

Does anyone have any information on how Kelvin Davis is going in his campaign. Is it a done deal that Mana will coast in. If Hone had not got into bed with KDC I would have wished him well but not now.

Apparently Hone and the Harawira clan are polarising figures up north as they are elsewhere, so it's not a foregone conclusion he will win his seat.

Note he has been very restrained so far this campaign and trying to come across as a moderate wanting to get rid of child poverty. Not sure that will fool many people though.

I don't know how Kelvin Davis is going, but I sent a donation to his electorate, because Labour are not promoting him. I'm a National voter, but that's one seat I want Labour to win, even though they want Internet/Mana to win it. Email him and he'll give you the account no.

The Fox network has nothing on the followers of the NBR

Don't you love Pam's tirade at reporters?

Looking like she can dish it out but cries like a school bully when she is tackled?

It has to be said that Pam was correct.

It's about time journalists started asking questions of the politicians about the real issues of economic growth, education, the environment and health. Or maybe that's too much like hard work.

Real issues? Have you ever heard Pam on talkback?

Hypocrites behave better.

Sadly this election is being ruined by the New Zealand media. As a voter I want to be informed of what the political parties have to offer in terms of policy, not the content of some book based on stolen emails. The standard of journalists in this country is disgraceful

Totally agree.

...and it's not like one could go and complain to the Press Council to complain - not when the Press Council has embedded EPMU union representatives in their midst - major funders, financiers and those that control the final leadership vote of the Labour Party.

There's huge potential for cronyism / nepotism / political & media corruption right there... and it erodes our democracy - slanted "opinion piece" by slanted opinion piece... The last week-10 days have been very illuminating indeed...

Perhaps that is why the Old Media are not endlessly grilling Hager about where he got his stolen emails from? Or when the next book about Politics from the Left will be out? Or why the Old Media never asked Cunliffe about the credibility of his CV statements, or why he still hasn't fronted about his secret trust donors?

Ducking interviews? got a bit sore, me thinks.

His hacking history is well known, and the press probably could have gone to Wikipedia. They're just grumpy at being told off.

One of New Zealand's figures large in politics right now has been caught hacking into others' confidential data, and squealed when caught out...

...and the other is Kim Dotcom.

It ain't confidential if it is being indexed by Google....