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Debates Forum

  1. Standard member mikelom
    Ajarn
    10 May '09 08:19
    The teenager at the centre of an international cyber crime investigation has Asperger's syndrome, a mild form of autism often characterised by social isolation but great intelligence and talent in a particular area.

    Owen Walker's mother yesterday told the Herald that her son had the condition and that police investigating allegations that he is the mastermind of an international "bot-net" ring were aware of the fact.

    Speaking at the family home in Whitianga, Shell Moxham-Whyte said she had "no idea" of the 18-year-old's alleged involvement in the ring, which the FBI believes has infected more than one million computers. She said that the family had been advised not to speak publicly and that her son was now staying with relatives elsewhere.

    Mrs Moxham-Whyte said he and the family had come under intense pressure since it was revealed on Saturday that he was the cyber figure Akill whom the FBI considered "the ringleader of an international bot-net coding group".

    A bot-net is a network of computers under the command and control of a criminal "bot-herder" who uses the network to commit cyber crimes or rents it to other cyber criminals.

    It is understood that Walker is now staying in Auckland.

    Police have already interviewed the 18-year-old and plan to question him again once tests have been carried out on computers seized from his Whitianga home on Wednesday.

    They have been working on the case since February 2007 with the FBI.

    Friends and employers have praised Walker as a brilliant computer programmer and the police national electronic crime laboratory manager, Maarten Kleintjes, said he was "very, very bright in terms of his ability to be able to produce that sort of code".

    The teenager has lost his job as a programmer at Trio Software Development but company director Glenn Campbell told the Herald he believed Walker did not actively seek trouble or illegal activity.

    Friends have described him as a loner and said he was bullied at Mercury Bay Area School before he left in Year 9.

    Mrs Moxham-Whyte said her son was an intelligent boy who had loved computers from a young age.

    He had done correspondence school after he left Mercury Bay.

    Asked if she knew whether he had been profiting from involvement in a criminal bot-net, she said, "I can't say any more".

    She confirmed that her son's surname was Walker, after the Weekend Herald was told it was Wilson.

    Owen is also known by "Snow Whyte" and "Snow Walker".

    -------------------------------------------------

    Asperger's syndrome:

    Asperger syndrome (also called Asperger's syndrome, Asperger's disorder, Asperger's or AS) is an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and people with AS therefore show significant difficulties in social interaction and restricted, stereotyped patterns of behavior and interests. AS differs from other ASDs by its relative preservation of linguistic and cognitive development. Although not mentioned in standard diagnostic criteria, physical clumsiness and atypical use of language are frequently reported.

    Asperger syndrome is named after Austrian pediatrician Hans Asperger who, in 1944, described children in his practice who lacked nonverbal communication skills, demonstrated limited empathy with their peers, and were physically clumsy. Fifty years later, AS was standardized as a diagnosis, but questions about many aspects remain. For example, there is lingering doubt about the distinction between AS and high-functioning autism (HFA); partly because of this, the prevalence of AS is not firmly established. The exact cause is unknown, although research supports the likelihood of a genetic basis; brain imaging techniques have not identified a clear common pathology.

    There is no single treatment for Asperger syndrome, and the effectiveness of particular interventions is supported by only limited data. Intervention is aimed at improving symptoms and function. The mainstay of management is behavioral therapy, focusing on specific deficits to address poor communication skills, obsessive or repetitive routines, and physical clumsiness. Most individuals with AS can improve over time, but difficulties with communication, social adjustment and independent living continue into adulthood. Some researchers and people with AS have advocated a shift in attitudes toward the view that AS is a difference, rather than a disability that must be treated or cured.

    [b][i]Personally I think he's guilty, and not unable to interact with society at all, and he should serve time for disrupting over a million computers!

    What goes?
  2. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    10 May '09 08:34
    Originally posted by mikelom
    The teenager at the centre of an international cyber crime investigation has Asperger's syndrome, a mild form of autism often characterised by social isolation but great intelligence and talent in a particular area.

    Owen Walker's mother yesterday told the Herald that her son had the condition and that police investigating allegations that he is the master ...[text shortened]... ould serve time for disrupting over a million computers!

    What goes?
    I think you'll find Michael Savage, a popular and award winning U.S. social and political commentator, will be in agreement with you. Here's what he said about autism last year:

    "Now, the illness du jour is autism. You know what autism is? I'll tell you what autism is. In 99 percent of the cases, it's a brat who hasn't been told to cut the act out. That's what autism is. What do you mean they scream and they're silent? They don't have a father around to tell them, "Don't act like a moron. You'll get nowhere in life. Stop acting like a putz. Straighten up. Act like a man. Don't sit there crying and screaming, idiot."

    I wonder whether this is the kind of statement that helped him win a "Freedom of Speech Award" from one of the talk radio industry journals. I wonder if it reflects mainstream American views because he is very popular and many Americans, including people on this web site, find him very amusing.
  3. 10 May '09 09:55
    I don't think Asperger's syndrome somehow exempts one from criminal prosecution. One hundred years ago, those people were just called "people with lacking social skills". Most people with AS lead a fairly normal life and have a family and kids.
  4. Standard member mikelom
    Ajarn
    10 May '09 10:38
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    I don't think Asperger's syndrome somehow exempts one from criminal prosecution. One hundred years ago, those people were just called "people with lacking social skills". Most people with AS lead a fairly normal life and have a family and kids.
    I thoroughly agree. It is also of interest to note that the article says police will analyse "computers found at the home" - plural.

    What dim wit, who isn't trying to achieve more than to be online, has 'computers'?
  5. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    10 May '09 10:44
    Originally posted by mikelom
    What dim wit, who isn't trying to achieve more than to be online, has 'computers'?
    Why do you refer to him as a "dim wit"?
  6. Standard member mikelom
    Ajarn
    10 May '09 10:59
    Originally posted by FMF
    Why do you refer to him as a "dim wit"?
    It is an English generalism to refer to a dim wit as grouped say. I do not refer to an individual as such. Apologies if you inferred so.
  7. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    10 May '09 11:09
    Originally posted by mikelom
    It is an English generalism to refer to a dim wit as grouped say. I do not refer to an individual as such. Apologies if you inferred so.
    OK, good. So it wasn't a reference to the autism. Phew.

    But this thing about 'computers' (plural) being for er... dim wits...

    I have two PCs, a working laptop, and two barely working Mac notebooks. That's five. Am I beyond dim wit?
  8. Standard member mikelom
    Ajarn
    10 May '09 11:22
    Originally posted by FMF
    OK, good. So it wasn't a reference to the autism. Phew.

    But this thing about 'computers' (plural) being for er... dim wits...

    I have two PCs, a working laptop, and two barely working Mac notebooks. That's five. Am I beyond dim wit?
    Only if you work on them all at no time!
  9. 10 May '09 12:52
    How do you tell if a person has Asperger's or is just a big doofus?
  10. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Poor Filipov :,(
    10 May '09 13:04
    What about Sam Deathwalker?

    http://samdeathwalker.com/
  11. 12 May '09 03:34
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    I don't think Asperger's syndrome somehow exempts one from criminal prosecution. One hundred years ago, those people were just called "people with lacking social skills". Most people with AS lead a fairly normal life and have a family and kids.
    NOTHING exempts one from criminal prosecution, in a just society.
  12. 12 May '09 03:35
    Originally posted by FMF
    OK, good. So it wasn't a reference to the autism. Phew.

    But this thing about 'computers' (plural) being for er... dim wits...

    I have two PCs, a working laptop, and two barely working Mac notebooks. That's five. Am I beyond dim wit?
    are you running Windows, or not?
  13. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    12 May '09 03:36
    Originally posted by zeeblebot
    are you running Windows, or not?
    Not on the Macs.
  14. 12 May '09 04:37
    Originally posted by mikelom
    The teenager at the centre of an international cyber crime investigation has Asperger's syndrome, a mild form of autism often characterised by social isolation but great intelligence and talent in a particular area.

    Owen Walker's mother yesterday told the Herald that her son had the condition and that police investigating allegations that he is the master ...[text shortened]... ould serve time for disrupting over a million computers!

    What goes?
    I think he should be hired as an anti-virus programmer.
  15. 12 May '09 04:39
    Originally posted by mikelom
    Only if you work on them all at no time!
    I can't understand what you mean. Please rephrase.