Hacker who reported a flaw in Hungarian Magyar Telekom faces up to 8-years in jail

Pierluigi Paganini February 03, 2019

Hungarian police arrested a young hacker because he discovered and exploited serious vulnerabilities in the systems of the Magyar Telekom

Which are the risks for a hacker that decide to publicly disclose a vulnerability?

The case I’m going to discuss shows us legal implication for this conduct.

Last year, Hungarian law enforcement arrested a young hacker (20) because he discovered and exploited serious vulnerabilities in the systems of the Magyar Telekom, the major Hungarian telecommunication company.

Now the hacker is facing up to 8 years in prison.

According to the local media, in April 2018 the hacker found a serious security vulnerability in the website of the telco company, he exploited the issue to penetrate the telecommunications network.

The Hungarian youngster first reported the flaw the company that invited him to a meeting to discuss the possibility to let him test its systems.

The boy went to Budapest for the meeting, but the company did not permit him to conduct further tests on systems.

Magyar Telekom hack

However, the young hacker continued testing the Magyar Telekom networks and discovered another severe flaw in May. This second vulnerability could have allowed an attacker to access all public and retail mobile and data traffic, and monitor the servers of the firm.

“Negotiations were stalled, but the programmer continued to search for a more serious vulnerability that could allow access to all public and retail mobile and data traffic.” reported the Napi.hu website. 

“However, this was spotted by Telekom’s people, which Andras also noticed, and then abandoned testing. Telekom, on the other hand, filed a complaint for his action, and in three weeks, the police also appeared to him – recalls the HCLU.”

The activity of the hacker was detected by the experts at Magyar Telekom that reported the unauthorized intrusion to the police that arrested him.

The man is currently on trial and the Hungarian Prosecution Service requested a prison sentence. The non-profit human rights watchdog
Hungarian Civil Liberties Union is defending the boy. The Prosecutor’s Office argues that the action of the boy posed a serious risk for the society.

“The prosecutor’s office offered Andras a bargain that if he admitted his guilt, he would only receive a 2-year suspended prison, but if he did not avail himself of it, he would be sentenced to 5 years of download. All this, according to HCLU, the court did not see any evidence.” continues the local media.

The young hacker refused the plea deal, and the worst is that prosecutors have added other charges to the indictment, such as disrupting the operation of a “public utility.”

Due to the new charges, the boy now is risking to be condemned to 8 years if proven guilty.

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Pierluigi Paganini

(SecurityAffairs – Magyar Telekom, hacking)

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