Melbourne: 15 year old facing 20 years for basically making a remote video capture utility

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Aug 3, 2022, 9:53:51 PM8/3/22
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This is all kinds of f*cked up.
(Sid: is 'Jacob Keen' one of our guys? - this is a Melbourne incident can we help here?)

Let me run this one up the Anonymous and Electronic Frontiers / Australia flagpole - this turned up in the Metadata Privacy and Data protection group and was forwarded to 2600 Australia facebook

Jodi Lee from Seven News just "doxed" a kid (published his name, age, face and location) who apparently has been accused of from the look of it doing little more than making a binary of a remote video capture utility - probably a glorified logmein, skype, teamviewr, VNC or OBS tool, and selling it online.
"Some" of his clients apparently had criminal records. Which apparently he is being charged for too.    Also his mother who he apparently gave money to probably buy groceries or other crap is being charged with spending the money.  

From the video all he was doing at home was crypto mining, and at best he is guilty of unreported income to the ATO there.

More likely his utility was used similarly to other utilities often stolen and bundled into worms to remote access victims.

Seven video here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUslwE2rDFw

Backed up here (since Seven will likely take it down when they realized they screwed up)
https://reviews.wox.org/2600/Frame%20Up%20Job%20Melbourne%20Hacker/
(Note: those with interests in the story maybe grab a copy, not sure of the legality of mirroring the video even if it is for the good of public interest.. after all wikileaks shows that the public interest defence has now been overturned - so I will likely need to remove the file.)

Allegedly the story is:
"Sophisticated software designed to help Predator's spy on innocent victims..."
Video footage shows as the above is narrated - what appears to be a gpu crypto mining setup, including the mining software client running in windows.

The "team viewer" app can be seen on the desktop. (a sophisticated software that could indeed "help predators.." but i doubt he did anything but download it..)


Conclusion:

It looks like someone is pulling an "/operation weather/" all over again. A complete legal overreaction to the severity of the alleged crime.    I frankly would not be surprised if all that really happened is some scammers worm randomly chose his email as the fake sender - and someone with more authority than sense sicked the police on him and found the "scary looking" mining rig and threw the book at him with calls of "black magic!", "burn the witch!" and "hacker!"

Seven is already suggesting he will get 20 years.. for what in any other country would be at worst a few months in detention.

BUT -  lets say he is actually guilty of more than crypto currency mining and using teamviewer here-

  1.  He is identified as 15 when the offence occurred. He is a minor.  Then seven turns around mid speech and says he is 24. They don't clarify this discrepancy.
  2.  They published his name, location and face.  Where an ongoing legal matter is concerned this is completely illegal, even with our wheatbix box sourced public safety laws.
  3.  Seven News illegally had copies of confidential police gathered evidence footage that will prejudice the prosecution of the case, and published it publicly.  This suggests he is being made an example of.
  4. He is being told to appear in court in Brisbane, when the alleged crime was committed in Melbourne... generally the law requires a defendant to attended a court appropriate to his location, and not require travel that would represent significant travel or hardships.  This suggests some interesting things about whomever reported him.   Sounds like another "fixated persons" style abuse of the system similar to what occurred to Jordan Shanks in play here. Very suspect.
  5.  Even more interestingly although the boy and his mother cannot legally travel due to covid restrictions (they are both covid positive)    the brisbane Authorities have stated they will immediately issue a warrant for both their arrest if they don't turn up at the court in Brisbane by August 19.     Chances are their assets were seized and their finances frozen, they couldn't pay for the travel even if they wanted to.
  6. The video evidence shows a crypto mining setup not a scammers "scamming software"
  7. He is being held accountable for the criminal records of those who obtained his software?!
  8. His mother is being charged for "spending money"!? (proceeds of crime.. except they have not been found guilty yet, procedurally illegal.
  9. The authorities have already announced he will get 20 years in jail.    The court case hasn't even occurred yet, and his punishment has already been set.  This runs completely contrary to every legal system in every single nation including our own with the possible exception of military tribunals, and challenging a traffic infringement.
  10. The figures cited do not even remotely add up to the alleged $400,000 of ill gotten gains.    The math doesn't add up.
  11. It sounds like seven news is completely misrepresenting the facts of the case, and the police are supporting them to do it.    It sounds like a frame up job.


Apologies for typos and errors.. i was under significant distractions while trying to post this.

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Christopher O'Shea

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Aug 3, 2022, 10:44:27 PM8/3/22
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  1.  He is identified as 15 when the offence occurred. He is a minor.  Then seven turns around mid speech and says he is 24. They don't clarify this discrepancy.

  1. [Most like first started when he was 15, but still being sold till he was 21 - https://attack.mitre.org/software/S0434/

  1.  They published his name, location and face.  Where an ongoing legal matter is concerned this is completely illegal, even with our wheatbix box sourced public safety laws.

  1. [This is a public court case his name and face is public knowledge, as for location only address is normally blocked by the courts]

  1.  Seven News illegally had copies of confidential police gathered evidence footage that will prejudice the prosecution of the case, and published it publicly.  This suggests he is being made an example of

  1. [Court brief are public document, and the media can request access unless the defence/policee ask them not to be shared] 
    .
  1. He is being told to appear in court in Brisbane, when the alleged crime was committed in Melbourne... generally the law requires a defendant to attended a court appropriate to his location, and not require travel that would represent significant travel or hardships.  This suggests some interesting things about whomever reported him.   Sounds like another "fixated persons" style abuse of the system similar to what occurred to Jordan Shanks in play here. Very suspect.

  1. [ Not always the courts is where the crime is filed if the AFP were people from their QLD department then could file the due in Brisbane, But the defence lawyers can request the court be moved. ] 

  1.  Even more interestingly although the boy and his mother cannot legally travel due to covid restrictions (they are both covid positive)    the brisbane Authorities have stated they will immediately issue a warrant for both their arrest if they don't turn up at the court in Brisbane by August 19.     Chances are their assets were seized and their finances frozen, they couldn't pay for the travel even if they wanted to.

  1. [You can request the court setup an AV setup with the Family court in Melbourne, also if they state it's related to finance issues then the court will buy them the ticket as cost of getting to court isn't a reason to stop]

  1. The video evidence shows a crypto mining setup not a scammers "scamming software"

  1. [This is media to show bad tech stuff, how boring world it to show code or unless stuff related to his crime the media] 

  1. He is being held accountable for the criminal records of those who obtained his software?!
  1. [
    If the idiot stated that you can do illegal stuff with his software and not the normal "This for education only or for monitoring of system you know"   Would need to look at the court brief to see why] 

  1. His mother is being charged for "spending money"!? (proceeds of crime.. except they have not been found guilty yet, procedurally illegal.

  1. [This is standard if they can show that money that was gained from a "crime" and she knew about the "crime" or knew it was questionable, then they're in their rights to charge people ]

  1. The authorities have already announced he will get 20 years in jail.    The court case hasn't even occurred yet, and his punishment has already been set.  This runs completely contrary to every legal system in every single nation including our own with the possible exception of military tribunals, and challenging a traffic infringement.

  1. [They state up to 20 years; they just going based on the criminal act and the max punishment that is seen, happens with any case get off your high horse] 

  1. The figures cited do not even remotely add up to the alleged $400,000 of ill gotten gains.    The math doesn't add up.

  1. [media doesn't share all the facts, and select things that may make the article pop, but the brief most likely stated 400,000. other place state he sold 14,500 copies for $35 ]   

  1. It sounds like seven news is completely misrepresenting the facts of the case, and the police are supporting them to do it.    It sounds like a frame up job.


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Sid E

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Aug 4, 2022, 12:03:55 AM8/4/22
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Well, this may surprise you, but I actually think he's guilty of writing and distributing spyware. He DID write the software and sell it, if he wrote the software for "educational" purposes, without making a profit - then it wouldn't be guilty...

The mother should definitely be charged for proceeds of crime, because if anything she would be encouraging him to make more money, if not she should be questioning the legitimacy of the software her son is selling.

Let's say the mother just opened up a bank account, and put the money in there for her child to buy a house one day - then it would be a different story again... 

I'll drill down on the points ya posted and see if we can get some understanding of what's happening legally (or illegally)...

BUT -  lets say he is actually guilty of more than crypto currency mining and using teamviewer here-

1. He is identified as 15 when the offence occurred. He is a minor.  Then seven turns around mid speech and says he is 24. They don't clarify this discrepancy.

Absolutely agree, like all minors he should not have been identified, especially without any formal convictions.


2. They published his name, location and face.  Where an ongoing legal matter is concerned this is completely illegal, even with our wheatbix box sourced public safety laws.

Agreed, as said above


3. Seven News illegally had copies of confidential police gathered evidence footage that will prejudice the prosecution of the case, and published it publicly.  This suggests he is being made an example of.

Incorrect, we can only speculate where they got the evidence, but remember that BOTH parties get a copy, so the footage may have been given to Seven News by the Keen family


4. He is being told to appear in court in Brisbane, when the alleged crime was committed in Melbourne... generally the law requires a defendant to attended a court appropriate to his location, and not require travel that would represent significant travel or hardships.  This suggests some interesting things about whomever reported him.   Sounds like another "fixated persons" style abuse of the system similar to what occurred to Jordan Shanks in play here. Very suspect.

This is an interesting point, and actually shows a huge problem with modern/cyber crimes... While the software was written and sold from Melbourne, QLD Police may be working on a case which involves the software, is it a dick move? Yes.. but is it within the scope of the law? Unfortunately yes...


5. Even more interestingly although the boy and his mother cannot legally travel due to covid restrictions (they are both covid positive) the brisbane Authorities have stated they will immediately issue a warrant for both their arrest if they don't turn up at the court in Brisbane by August 19. 

They say they are covid positive, did they register on the covid website? If so they can use that legally to adjourn the case. 


5(a). Chances are their assets were seized and their finances frozen, they couldn't pay for the travel even if they wanted to.

Oh don't worry about that, the police are more than happy to send you to QLD and bill you for it when you're in jail! Also speculation... 


6. The video evidence shows a crypto mining setup not a scammers "scamming software"

Yeah... and? He was probably mining crypto too, I would be ;)


7. He is being held accountable for the criminal records of those who obtained his software?!

That feels like the police throwing mud and seeing what will stick, as well attempting to incriminate him with assisting those criminals in their activities, BS charge...


8. His mother is being charged for "spending money"!? (proceeds of crime.. except they have not been found guilty yet, procedurally illegal.

Now this is where is gets complicated, I already hold the mother partly accountable for her sons actions, she was more than happy to spend his money... 

Let's say I'm the ATO, and I see you lodge a tax return for $80k a year, but I also see you've turned $135k through your bank account, where did the other $55k come from? Crypto? 


9. The authorities have already announced he will get 20 years in jail.    The court case hasn't even occurred yet, and his punishment has already been set.  This runs completely contrary to every legal system in every single nation including our own with the possible exception of military tribunals, and challenging a traffic infringement.

The authorities don't get a say in how long he is sentenced for, it's probably a maximum of 20 years, and the media want to scare people so they are using the extremes. 

I highly doubt they'll put him in jail, because most criminals aren't very smart - and the last thing they want is this kids knowledge being shared among dumb criminals. 


10. The figures cited do not even remotely add up to the alleged $400,000 of ill gotten gains.    The math doesn't add up.

How much of that sweet sweet crypto money did they not tell the ATO about? Once again we don't know all the details but $400k isn't a big figure in the criminal world.


11. It sounds like seven news is completely misrepresenting the facts of the case, and the police are supporting them to do it.    It sounds like a frame up job.

Nah, it sounds like some bogan gronk mother profited from her kids skills, and didn't declare it as income. There is a bunch of grey area laws too, like, was the software even illegal to start with? 


Let's just hope that some common sense prevails in the courts, and this kid, who is obviously pretty damn talented, doesn't have his life ruined because his mother and the media plastered his face and name everywhere...


Sid




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David Fernée

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Aug 4, 2022, 12:30:06 AM8/4/22
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Chances are he'll be offered a job after the criminal conviction (if there is one) is spent. It might be a nice vacation in prison and then a comfy info sec job afterwards. Selling this tool to paedophiles and wife beaters... Scum. I hope he learns his lesson. I'm glad the police were able to identify the victims.

Let's face it, most people on this list could write that kind of tool... Most of us don't bother and most of us don't sell that kind of thing to those kind of people. I'm not quick to jump to his defence.

Sid E

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Aug 4, 2022, 12:45:47 AM8/4/22
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Wow David

That's some really absurd assumptions there, half this mailing list can't code for shit! And knowing some of the people here, if they could, they would.

Also it's not proven yet, so you're meant to say Allegedly or something?

Personally, I don't think that kid, knew what kind of harm the software was capable of, the mother on the other hand... She knew exactly what was going on.


David Fernée

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Aug 4, 2022, 1:04:02 AM8/4/22
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Sorry Sid, my bad on all counts...

Perhaps it's my pop-culture superhero don't use your powers for evil mindset.

Apologies if I've gone too far.

Sid E

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Aug 4, 2022, 1:14:57 AM8/4/22
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It's OK I'm in a forgiving mood today.

Also, don't use your powers for evil, is common sense, remember that thing our parents used to talk about?

Raging at someone for producing software that enables horrible people to commit fucked up crimes, is totally acceptable. So I'm not even acknowledging an apology for that.

The only difference in how we think, is what kind of punishment the 15 year old should get. 

Half the mailing list still can't code for shit :)

Sid




ad...@reviews.wox.org

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Aug 4, 2022, 1:56:52 AM8/4/22
to 2600-au...@googlegroups.com, Christopher O'Shea
So basically the kid made a remote anywhere(aka logmein) or
dameware style app officially for remote manage and monitor
of corporate networks and equipment, BUT could also be
misused - and the majority of his publicity for it was
unfortunately on forums frequented by assholes who
immediately did so.

Near as I can tell it was only popular because he didn't
charge too much. $25 vs $282 per seat with a butt sitting on
it.

Still seems rather concerning they are trying to set the
precedent that the software developer is made accountable
for the criminal records of the end users - particularly as
there would be no direct link allowing him to be aware of
it.   The wording in most write ups seem to focus on that.

Dameware, anydesk, remoteanywhere, and dozens of others get
misused daily if not more than his application..  do in
fact.  Watch the anti-scam youtubers to see what apps they
use. Dameware in particular has very similar features and
can be installed remotely over a LAN..

Not to mention all the similar tools leaked by wikileaks
that the CIA/NSA has been using for decades to do the same
thing, and probably do the same criminal activities with
too. In one cited case a government agency was doing exactly
that with it, but got caught.    Oh the irony.    They do
the crime, this poor kid does the time?  Sounds like a raw
deal to me.

As for my high horse...  if i get off of it, then look up -
all I will see is assh0les.  The view is better from up
here...   :P

But yes I also gave the apology at the end of my OP for
typos and errors.  I had a room full of people arguing in
the background and I was working on 3 things at the time.  
Still are actually.  Not exactly ideal conditions for a
decent write up.

I also don't like 'creep', and this case has the potential
for more overcreep into over arching powers of
authorities.    Considering what has been happening
politically the last decade or so, I think I can be forgiven
for being concerned.  Little concessions here and there has
led to the dystopian nightmare we live today.
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Sid E

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Aug 4, 2022, 2:02:30 AM8/4/22
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Oh wow Casper replied to you and not the group!

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Sid E

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Aug 4, 2022, 2:49:50 AM8/4/22
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Hey 2600 Melbourne - have you managed to pull your thumb out of your asses yet and organise a meet? Or are you happy in your little online left wing antifa echo chamber?

First up, the majority of the criticism from Mr Wox here, was aimed at how Channel 7 were presenting the facts, so telling him to find more media sources is a bit pointless.

Secondly, by not sharing those links with the rest of us you basically are attacking Wox AND not giving the people who give a shit, the relevant information - did it not suit your agenda?

Reading the new information, it makes the whole case more complicated, but also cements in the fact the mother was involved with the activities all along, it even says proceeds of crime over $100k. 

It also says the software started development in 2013, 9 years ago, there is a PayPal trail of evidence of purchases, from when he was 15, AND the operation was shut down in 2019, it wasn't until the FBI asked the AFP for assistance, that he was arrested.

There is an argument both ways that he was a minor in Brisbane when the software was started, but was an adult while it was still active, and currently lives in Melbourne.

Wox has a totally valid point that other software can also be used for harm, it's like blaming knives for all stabbings, or blaming cars for all hit and runs. The real question, is, did he know what it was being used for? And the harm it could have caused?

Did he even have the mental capacity to understand the risks of the software he was writing, at the age he started development?Did he have outside help or influences? Was someone else manipulating him as a child?

The last thing I want to do is stick up for someone who violates digital (or general) privacy, as we mostly hold these things pretty close to our hearts, not all the people on this list but most. 

To me it looks like a socially awkward nerdy kid, found a way to make his life better, without fully understanding the consequences of his actions. Where was the mother during all this? Oh just spending his money... 

If your 15 year old kid is making spyware, and you're profiting from it, then you're probably not a very good parent. At least encourage your kids to use their knowledge for good.....

I'll leave it at that for now, but there are lots of questions that need answers.

Sid






Christopher O'Shea

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Aug 4, 2022, 4:05:16 AM8/4/22
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Hi Sid,

I sent it to the group, did you block me cause I don't play your little games? 
https://groups.google.com/g/2600-Australia/c/l6pcunJt0nE 

Any back on the topic based on the news report, the tools was shut down back in 2019- so between that time, lots of AFP people would be looking at all his email, chat history  and even comments in code to look for his "intent" 
https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/law-enforcement-shuts-down-imminent-monitor-malware-makes-arrests/

Based on that and the most likely raids of the developer's place. If they found evidence that shows that the intent of the developer was to create a hidden RAT tool and knowing and willing to share it with the customer base that was to use it for an illegal reason then yes, he should be charged. 

As with most laws around charges for criminals, it's all about the intent.  If the kid had anything on their computer showing that their intent was just to bypass protection and all spying on people without their consent, then it's on them.  It's why your Term of Service is so damn long to stop the blame on the developer. 

This is the Victoria law around the same offence - http://www5.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/vic/consol_act/ca195882/s247e.html 

Chris O'Shea


Sid E

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Aug 4, 2022, 5:51:54 AM8/4/22
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You went to the spam folder Casper, been shit posting a bit much ey?

So, have your chums at 2600 Melbourne "Official" group sorted out public meets yet?

Sid E

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Aug 4, 2022, 6:11:50 AM8/4/22
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Casper where is the secret 2600 antifa HQ? Meets are Tomorrow!

Christopher O'Shea

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Aug 5, 2022, 12:31:44 AM8/5/22
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Ohh the spam

And yep, in-person meets are back 7 pm @ The Crafty Squire  if I remember correctly

Chris O'Shea


Sid E

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Aug 5, 2022, 2:44:00 AM8/5/22
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The official websites say Charles Dickens?

Is there some secret meet happening?

Also yes your email went to spam, I'm not one to stay quiet and would have questioned this as soon as I saw you Casper...

ad...@reviews.wox.org

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Aug 5, 2022, 2:47:11 AM8/5/22
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That's the one over on corner of Russell and Lil Collins ye?

Been getting much of a turn out?   Any oldies, first waves, second waves or just a bunch of gender confused millennials who think a vpn off the app store is 1337 ?  

Maybe I should start a rural chapter...  I have VR, cafe machines and beer sold next door..  Probably not.  Out here the only hackers are the ones selling firewood.

On 5/08/2022 2:31 pm, Christopher O'Shea wrote:
Ohh the spam

And yep, in-person meets are back 7 pm @ The Crafty Squire  if I remember correctly

Chris O'Shea


On Thu, Aug 4, 2022 at 10:11 AM Sid E <side...@gmail.com> wrote:
Casper where is the secret 2600 antifa HQ? Meets are Tomorrow!

On Thu, 4 Aug 2022, 7:51 pm Sid E, <side...@gmail.com> wrote:
You went to the spam folder Casper, been shit posting a bit much ey?


Sid E

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Aug 5, 2022, 3:15:22 AM8/5/22
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Hey Casper

Are you using 2 different devices with 2 different time zones by any chance? The email timestamps don't line up, which may be why you went to spam 



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Christopher O'Shea

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Aug 5, 2022, 3:30:41 AM8/5/22
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I Feel loved Sid :) - We have changed 2 times since then not sure who goes and updates that site. 

And Admin - Yeah I think that's the one, been a decent mix of people new, my gen and older timer


Chris O'Shea


Sid E

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Aug 5, 2022, 3:32:15 AM8/5/22
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You've changed time zones twice?

Christopher O'Shea

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Aug 5, 2022, 3:33:40 AM8/5/22
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Hi Sid,

That is correct, I do change time zones.

Chris O'Shea


Sid E

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Aug 5, 2022, 3:37:02 AM8/5/22
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How do you go 10+ hours backwards in under an hour?

Christopher O'Shea

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Aug 5, 2022, 3:49:07 AM8/5/22
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Different devices have different time zones on them. Remember your time zone is one more thing that can be used to finger print where you are.


Chris O'Shea


Sid E

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Aug 5, 2022, 4:12:08 AM8/5/22
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Yeah except your timestamps of my emails, show me replying to myself 10 hours before I wrote what I replied to...

So you were probably changing the time zone on a single device to get an email mismatch like that ;)

I'm no hacker internet expert but I do believe if you don't wanna get dropped in the spam folder, timezones are important hmmmkay....

Christopher O'Shea

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Aug 5, 2022, 4:15:51 AM8/5/22
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You find that stuff written before 5pm will use UTC.

Where after 5pm I use AEST

The reason is my workplace has most things in UTC and it's easy to keep my local machine in UTC time. 

Chris O'Shea


Sid E

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Aug 5, 2022, 4:24:25 AM8/5/22
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Oh so you happened to start work at 8pm yesterday?

Interesting story.

Christopher O'Shea

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Aug 5, 2022, 4:43:52 AM8/5/22
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Nope, my last email yesterday was 6pm (AEST) 



Chris O'Shea


Sid E

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Aug 5, 2022, 4:49:18 AM8/5/22
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The email you replied to, that I wrote at 6:49am?

Sure...

Christopher O'Shea

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Aug 5, 2022, 5:12:28 AM8/5/22
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Yea, 6:49am (UTC) = 4:41pm (AEST)
That one I sent was from my device that uses UTC

Chris O'Shea


Sid E

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Aug 5, 2022, 5:15:26 AM8/5/22