A Norwegian hacking gang is said to have broken into two email accounts belonging to Anders Breivik Behring, the right-wing extremist who killed over 70 people in the country last month.
The gang, who call themselves Noria, is said to be led by a 17 year old youth and is reported to have handed all the information they acquired from Behring’s email accounts to freelance journalist.
The journalist, Kjetil Stormark, was asked by the hackers to pass the material to police investigating the mass-killings.
The same hacking gang is believed to have been responsible for a hack of Behring’s Twitter account a couple of weeks ago.
Although most people’s reaction would probably be to applaud the hackers’ actions for now breaking into the killer’s email accounts, I think it’s worth thinking a little deeper about the hack actually means from the perspective of the ongoing investigation into Behring and the atrocity to which he has confessed.
The police would, for understandable reasons, be very interested in getting their hands on the contents of Behrin’s email accounts and seeing who he has been communicating with, and what he has been discussing.
However, if hackers have broken into his email account then they have effectively compromised the evidence. A defence lawyer could easily argue that as soon as unauthorised parties, who were not following proper investigatory procedures, plundered his email account they could also have deleted or otherwise changed some of its contents.
Furthermore, it sounds as if the contents of Anders Breivik Behring’s email accounts were accessed illegally – meaning that even if there was information which would prove useful in a prosecution of Behring or others, it may not be admissible in court.
Usually, it’s best to leave criminal investigations to the professionals – the police. If you think you may be able to help the police with their inquiries, you should contact them directly and ask them how you might best assist.
Don’t take the law into your own hands by hacking – you might find that you’re actually not helping at all.
Hat-tip: ABC Nyheter