Whaleoil and Rachinger – the final chapter starts

Written By: - Date published: 8:24 am, December 12th, 2016 - 88 comments
Categories: crime, police - Tags: , , , , , ,

In the Manakau District Court later this morning the trial of Ben Rachinger on fraud charges related to a admitted solicitation attempt to hack this site by Cameron Slater begins. The trial is set down for 5 days. Unfortunately I won’t be there. However there aren’t any court orders to prevent me from expressing my views and advice on the trial.

For those you who haven’t caught up on this interesting and (for me) time consuming farce, I’d recommend reading David Fisher’s “Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater admits soliciting hack“, Keith Ng’s “The Whaledump Saga: Scooby-Doo Edition“, or just have a look through our Ben Rachinger links.

Essentially, Cameron Slater appears to have been a fool in believing whatever bullshit that fitted his rather strange and very hypocritical view of how the world operates. He paid Ben Rachinger $1000 upfront of an agreed upon price of $5000 for material hacked from my home servers.

Section 249 and/or section 252 of the Crimes Act makes it an offence to access my computers without permission or to gain advantage from it or to cause me loss. That means that if Ben Rachinger had broken into my home servers, he’d have been charged for those crimes – just the same as rawshark would have been if their his identity had been discovered. However after I’d spent some very expensive 1 days writing code to scan logs for any penetrations of my systems. There didn’t appear to be any attempts on the site apart from the routine spambots and various attempts to hijack the site for botnets.

The only actual crime that appears to have been committed was section 311(2) of the Crimes Act which makes it an offence to even try to procure the services of someone to access my systems.

311 Attempt to commit or procure commission of offence

(2) Every one who incites, counsels, or attempts to procure any person to commit any offence, when that offence is not in fact committed, is liable to the same punishment as if he or she had attempted to commit that offence, unless in respect of any such case a punishment is otherwise expressly provided by this Act or by some other enactment.

Rightfully, this was the charge that was placed against Cameron Slater by the police.

However for some inexplicable reason, and despite a number of previous convictions that should have precluded the police from offering it, the police chose to proffer diversion to Cameron Slater without notifying me nor The Standard. The police didn’t tell us when the hearings were taking place. Nor did they even notify us that they hadn’t opposed the name suppression requested by Cameron Slater, that hitherto ardent (and evidently deeply hypocritical) opponent of name suppression and police diversion. We found out through the grapevine.

This was pretty clear violation of the Victims Rights Act 2002. The police apparently thought that because I’d made a statement that, after considerable effort, I couldn’t see any evidence that Ben Rachinger had actually penetrated my systems, that no crime had been committed. This was a rather fatuous excuse as I’d also stated that spent a lot of time checking my systems and beefing up security on them.

That was a direct response to the information that someone (apparently “the funder” referred to in various conversations) had paid considerable amounts of money to gain information from them as a result of an offence. That had raised the

I became aware, while working in Italy, that the final hearing of the diversion was about to take place. Fortunately I  was able to organise to return a few days early to NZ to attend it. While I wasn’t able to prevent the diversion, I was able to help to strip the name suppression and to get a decision that the police had erred in their interpretation of the Victims Rights Act.

Ben Rachinger had refused diversion and opposed name suppression, preferring to make his trial public. I was intending to appear as a witness or as a party to the case.

Unfortunately I appear to have had the dates wrong in my calendar (despite the police informing me of the correct date in mid-year) and went back to Italy on the 3rd of December for a frequently delayed job. As I hadn’t heard anything, I figured the trial had been delayed and that I’d be back for the trial. So I was rather astonished to find a email from the police when I arrived at Frankfurt airport from the police saying:-

I would like to catch up with you to provide you with your witness summons.

My immediate reaction was rather sulphurous. Fortunately I had a few hours sitting in transit to have a meal, an awakening coffee, cool down and return a more civilised response than my immediate draft response (now filed under ‘abusive’). Even in the best of times, being able to get holiday time with about 7 days notice to attend court for several days would be difficult. Getting it while I was waiting for a plane to Rome was infuriating.

Of course I’d have been a difficult witness for the police and prosecution case. While I have no particular respect for Ben Rachinger2 and I don’t know that much about the details of the case against him, even after sitting through two hearings on the charge(s). There are several points that come to mind.

I am assuming that the $1000 he has been charged about is the $1000 forward payment for materials gained from my servers. I find it more than a little ridiculous that fraud or dishonesty charges could be made on someone not performing a criminal action could be brought by the police. That does appear to be what the case rests on.

Unauthorised access

criminal3 prosecution for fraud by Ben Rachinger for not hacking my servers rests on if he intended to or even tried to gain access to my servers without permission. I think that it is is likely that trying but not succeeding to gain unauthorised access

I went to considerable lengths when the hacking allegations arose early in 2016 to isolate any unauthorised intrusions, there were many millions of computer log lines to examine. I didn’t have clear time frames on when intrusions were meant to have occurred. Nor did I have clear guides on what the type of intrusions were purported to have taken place. So I was forced to make some very wide ranging searches over more than a five month period. However I do have considerable experience and skills (unlike Cameron Slater – see Dirty Politics) in securing servers that are online to the internet.

So I searched for actual unauthorised access to the servers. That was attempted logins using characteristic password hacking attempts, unauthorised attempts to access back-end functions of the website, and technical attempts to bypass firewalls. I didn’t see any that were attributable to Ben Rachinger or anyone else  that succeeded 4.. In my (pretty expert) opinion, it is highly unlikely that any did succeed .

However that doesn’t preclude that no attempts were made through non-technical means. I didn’t need to look as deeply for those. I examined all logins by past and present admins, editors and even authors in the website to see if they were coming from unexpected locations or IP addresses without seeing anything unusual. There are also a number of private pages, posts, and lists of users that would have been an obvious target for any intruders. None of those stood out as displaying characteristics of strange or unauthorised access.

However, for all of that hard work, I couldn’t state conclusively that no attempts or success at unauthorised access did not take place during that period. I just think that it is highly unlikely. From memory, that is what I stated in effect in my statement to the police.

Veracity

I don’t have any faith in the veracity of any statements made by either Ben Rachinger or Cameron Slater. In my opinion, both have proved themselves to have ever changing stories about themselves or their actions. However I suspect that is a situation that the courts have dealt with time and again, and they are perfectly capable of making up their own minds about it. I’d just comment that in my view, anything that is not backed with hard factual evidence should be discounted and largely ignored.

Public Interest and Security

I’m rather grateful to Ben Rachinger in a strange way. What his confused story about hacking The Standard did, when it arose back on twitter in February 2015, was to alert me that someone was attempting to do unauthorised access to the site. His later comments made it clear that someone was willing to spend quite a lot of money to do that. In fact almost double the money than we expended on running site annually.

It was also clear that wasn’t just the usual suspects around the blogosphere and net 5 that the security systems on The Standard were designed to foil. The $5000 that was offered by Cameron Slater as a bounty was enough money to tempt someone with actual skills to be interested in the task. That kind of money to attack a website being run on a voluntary basis on a platform with some well known flaws is kind of ridiculous overkill. Because I wasn’t aware of who the mysterious “backer” was that kept showing up in the tweets and screen dumps, I had to assume that more money was available. After all it could be anyone from the mysterious investors in ‘freednz’ to members of parliament bearing in mind that the apparent purpose of the hack was to embarrass the newly appointed leader of the Labour Party, Andrew Little, when he first rose in the house in 2015.

Even if I didn’t assume that more money was available, there was hell of an incentive to simply access a system and create the required ‘evidence’ when they don’t find what their paymaster wants to see. There really isn’t a lot to see in the back-end of The Standard apart from the usual day-to-day, and frequently mildly acrimonious carping between authors. My biggest fear with conspiracy nutters like Cameron Slater and his cohort is that when they don’t find what they want, that whoever creates a plausible loophole into the system will simply also just create whatever crap is required. You don’t have to look far through the ridiculous stories that Ben Rachinger was feeding Cameron Slater and him getting wet with excitement about them to see that is a plausible scenario about what would happen.

As a result of this. Over the past few years, I’ve spent weeks of my time upgrading the security systems in the servers and the site to cope with a far higher level of sophistication and skills in hacking attempts.

By exposing the lengths that Cameron Slater was willing to go to to manufacture a story, Ben Rachinger has done the body politic and me a great service. In my opinion, the court should slap him on the wrist. However they shouldn’t deter any future whistle-blowers from exposing similar conspiracies.


  1. The rates that my skills are charged out has always been rather expensive. However the work I do directly or indirectly for this site is voluntary, unpaid and primarily done because I consider that we need open political debate in this country. I’ve come to the conclusion that many idiots of the right like Cameron Slater and his delusional followers fail to understand the concept of doing anything for altruist reasons. Which really says a lot about how distorted their view of the world is.
  2. Read Keith Ngs’ post for some pretty clear examples of deceptive and untrustworthy behaviour by Ben Rachinger.
  3. Of course a civil case could be easily made. Civil cases rest on the balance of probabilities rather than the burden of proof being on the prosecution.
  4. Over the 9 years that The Standard has been running there have been at least a hundred and often several thousand attempts per day to gain unauthorised access to the site and its servers. They almost invariably get trapped by multi-layered protective routines. To my knowledge only two have succeeded. One managed to add some links to a footer routine that had accidentally been left writable. The other was an unauthorised login being given to author and post an article. Both happened in the first year of operation, and both resulted in some rapid changes to our security to ensure that nothing like them happened again. In 2014, a problem with some search code allowed some of the comments from newly created private author only posts to be visible in search routines.
  5. There are lot of skilled people around the net who potentially have the required skills to get into websites if they feel a need to do so. However they also have better things to do with their time. People with such skills simply don’t spend massive amounts of effort required to crack into even moderately secured sites and servers without a strong incentive. It takes a lot of effort to dig out a hole and there are usually more productive things to expend their time at. Financial incentives tend to change that probability. So does infuriating them to the point that they are willing to expend the effort, as Cameron Slater found out when he pissed of whoever rawshark is with those comments about feral west coasters.

88 comments on “Whaleoil and Rachinger – the final chapter starts ”

  1. ianmac 1

    As a rank Unknower about how systems work, I am always impressed by those who do know and put their knowing into action. Always grateful to Iprent for the Standard and the skill needed to run it.

    • Jase 1.1

      WordPress doesn’t take skill to run – its ultimate purpose is to provide bloggers with a blogging package where they aren’t able to write their own site. Its lowest common denominator stuff. My great aunt Agatha could run a WordPress site.

  2. Stunned Mullet 2

    While I’m sure this is of the greatest importance to you and Slater it really does come across as two petulant and highly self important twits brandishing their respective man-bits to all and sundry.

  3. I find it more than a little ridiculous that fraud or dishonesty charges could be made on someone not performing a criminal action could be brought by the police. That does appear to be what the case rests on.

    But it’s a thing! There was a case a couple of months ago of a West Coast man convicted after a tourist gave him $300-odd for cannabis and he ran off with it. If you take money off someone for something you never intend to do, it doesn’t matter whether that thing was itself a crime.

    • This case is more complicated – I think that Rachinger claims to have been acting at least sort of as a police informant.

      • lprent 3.1.1

        Yeah, that is one of the reasons that I would love to get a live feed.

        • greywarshark 3.1.1.1

          Andrew Geddis
          Perhaps we are setting a new standard of probity in NZ, anything goes if you can do a good cover up, except that there must be honesty in criminal dealings. We might then expect to see private entities suing politicians for not fronting up with promised advantages made in order to get campaign finances etc.

    • lprent 3.2

      I saw that come up in the news. Always meant to look up the details. But never enough time.

      Who knows where this could lead. Just imagine if it starts winding up in civil cases 😅

    • tracey 3.3

      Hmmmm like paying someone to murder someone for you, and then suing them for not doing it? 😉

      • dukeofurl 3.3.1

        Not suing, its a crime to pay someone to murder someone else, for which you could receive life imprisonment.
        “incites, counsels, or attempts to procure any person to commit any offence, when that offence is not in fact committed, is liable to the same punishment as if he or she had attempted to commit that offence”
        You can see how they wouldnt be going to the courts.

        The tourists trying to buy the dope, seems strange, as they could well have their visas cancelled

    • dukeofurl 3.4

      From Redditt
      “This is a genuine question. A friend of mine went to buy weed for a little camping trip over new years from these dudes he doesn’t know very well. So he goes and meets the cunts in an empty parking lot and they pull out a gun and take his money ($400) off him and run with it. No weed for him. He hasn’t called the cops because he thinks he will get in trouble for wanting to buy weed in the first place but I think he should. Like wtf, can people even own hand guns in NZ? My friend is a dumb asshole for wanting to buy 400 worth of weed and the gun was most likely a fake but still I am very concerned that this has happened to him. I want the guys who did this to him be punished for it. Any advice appreciated.’

      Dont know that it went to court. duh!. More likely to say they were just robbed if they went to police and may be sometimes related to a very few of the tourist robberies we hear about.

      • Anno1701 3.4.1

        ” Like wtf, can people even own hand guns in NZ? ”

        sounds to me like

        a: your friend is lying to you
        b: he got robbed by a kid with an air-pistol

        NO-ONE is going to use several thousands dollars worth of illicit hand gun to steal $400……

  4. Observer Tokoroa 4

    .
    Hi LPRENT

    Thankyou for all the work you put into this Forum. Computer Programming is never simple. Testing the code is very demanding too.

    Your Contribution towards the health of our Democracy is absolutely outstanding.

    Do you think the dirty links to John Key’s dirty low friends, will be kept by the great National Party under Bill English and Paula and Judith?

    Or is corruption too deeply ingrained within the National politicians and their supporters ?

    Vote Corrupt vote National.

    • lprent 4.1

      Somehow I don’t think that Bill English is into that kind of perversion of democratic process. I suspect that if I had time to pop into the whaledreck site, I would find that their current anathema is the anointing that will happen overnight (during the day your time).

      I am sure that there will be a few upset journos as well.

  5. Anne 5

    … the apparent purpose of the hack was to embarrass the newly appointed leader of the Labour Party, Andrew Little, when he first rose in the house in 2015.

    I take it Slater was wanting to gain access to the identities of authors and regular commenters (authors in particular) with a view to having them investigated. If nothing of significance was found, he would make it up and hey presto… Little’s leadership would be dead in the water.

    Cos you see, this a Labour Party blog-site (not) and we’re all Labour agents (not) doing the dirty work (wot doesn’t exist) behind the scenes?

    Talk about projection!

    • lprent 5.1

      According to some of the stuff that is in the texts, the deluded thought that there were an awful lot of labour MPs who write here under pseudonyms.

      Apart from the automatic highlighting of parliamentary IPs that happens on the back of the backend, that is there specifically for staffers and MPs (frigging hard to do a article post using a cellphone or tablet), you’d think that would have shown up and leaked if they were even reading here a lot on a parliamentary cellphone.

      Parliamentary IPs show up a lot on the read, just like journos do. None of either group do much commenting, and they invariably use their own names.

      Just one of those stupid myths where the nutty right project themselves on to everyone else.

      • Anne 5.1.1

        It has a funny side. A few years ago I learned that I was suspected of being a well known former Labour Party senior official and ex-parliamentarian. Viewed it very much as a compliment.

        Wonder if I was on Slater’s black list. 😀

      • b waghorn 5.1.2

        ”awful lot of labour MPs who write here under pseudonyms.”

        bugger my covers blown i am actually Annette King

    • Bob 5.2

      “Cos you see, this a Labour Party blog-site (not) and we’re all Labour agents (not) doing the dirty work (wot doesn’t exist) behind the scenes?”
      I think the ‘About’ section here could make people think that:
      https://thestandard.org.nz/about/
      “The Standard newspaper – from where our masthead comes – was founded by labour movement activists in the 1930s”
      “it’d be fair to say that all of us share a commitment to the values and principles that underpin the broad labour movement”
      “in the spirit of a cooperative endeavour we get help from time to time from a range of people from the labour movement”
      “We do this purely because we enjoy it and we think the labour movement side of the story is always worth telling”

  6. Ad 6

    The first person to say “But the Left Do Dirty Politics Too” should be forced to attend the Hearing as punishment.

  7. gsays 7

    i trust the case goes as expected.
    however, after a man died after being peppered, tasered, and had dogs set on him in his car, and 4 cops found not guilty iof assault,i have no faith in courts finding against the ptb.

    • Stunned Mullet 7.1

      I can’t remember reading about that one in the news ?

      • gsays 7.1.1

        rather grim reading, depending on yr point of view.

        nzherald.co.nz/hawkes-bay-today/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503462&objectid=11759482

        i understand the car was facing the ocean ieno risk to the public.

        sorry lprent a bit off topic.

        • Stunned Mullet 7.1.1.1

          Yuck what a shambles.

          Why did they not cordon off the site and wait for him to come down from his high/pass away from his overdose. Sounds like inexperienced police on duty when an older head was needed.

          • gsays 7.1.1.1.1

            i agree with all of that, the reason for raising it was the not guilty verdict, i am cynical of there being a fair outcome from this hacking case.

    • Anno1701 7.2

      “a man died after being peppered, tasered, and had dogs set on him ”

      ooohhhh but the police do SUCH a hard job…. etc etc etc

      A.C.A.B

  8. Tory 8

    I have no issues with the prosecution and subsequent penalties however, and regardless of opinions and views about Slater, he was hacked and whoever did that is guilty of crimes as set out in this post.
    Yet readers and bloggers here celebrate the illegal hacking of Slater and condem the attempted hack of TS. Hyprocisy or convenience?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 8.1

      …or the fact that Slater is a recidivist National Party criminal who was a close associate of Zero-Legacy John? Who can tell?

      • Tory 8.1.1

        OK, I’ll take that as hyprocisy. There’s a surprise….

        • One Anonymous Bloke 8.1.1.1

          Nope. Rawshark did the country a great service by exposing a National Party crim. In response, the crim tried to attack The Standard.

          So you are proposing a false equivalence, probably in some sort of right-wing dimwit attempt to poison the debate. Good luck with that.

          • Bob 8.1.1.1.1

            But if he found the same sort of attacks being plotted in the background of The Standard after hacking the site, he would go from crim back to doing the country a great service?
            Just trying to clarify your logic here.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 8.1.1.1.1.1

              My logic is simple: Slater’s impotent flailing wasn’t even aimed at the person who attacked him: he was just lashing out at a third party.

              So Tory’s challenge is a false equivalence.

              Slater has done the country a great service by destroying Judith Collins’ political career, and he’s still a crim.

              • Bob

                Yip, understand all of that, but let’s say purely hypothetically, a hacker, let’s call them Rawshark (since that is the only hacker name I know), was offered $5,000 to hack a random blog site. Where is the line at which point said hacker goes from criminal to ‘person acting in the public interest’?
                Is it when you like what they find cos you think it helps your cause? Is it when a book is written? Or do they remain a criminal in your eyes and the person who receives the hacked content (be it solicited or not) that becomes the ‘person acting in the public interest’?

                Genuine question (with a bit of hypothetical context).

                EDIT: Changed to “public interest”

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  1. Rawshark wasn’t paid.
                  2. They also claimed to have evidence of the ratfuckers and their activities: the hack was a targeted attack, not a fishing expedition.
                  3. Rawshark committed a crime, and in doing so did the country a service. You see – not one or the other, both.

                  So you’ve followed up a false equivalence with a false dichotomy.

                  • Bob

                    “1. Rawshark wasn’t paid.”
                    That seems pretty definitive, are you 100% sure? Or are you guessing because it fits your narrative?

                    “2. They also claimed to have evidence of the ratfuckers and their activities: the hack was a targeted attack, not a fishing expedition.”
                    Slater claimed to have evidence of people working for Labour being regular contributors on The Standard which Andrew Little stated categorically was not the case. That may be complete bullshit, but who knows for sure (the contributors generally maintain anonymity) unless they hack the site. Would that constitute being of “public interest” if it proved Andrew Little was lying?

                    “3. Rawshark committed a crime, and in doing so did the country a service. You see – not one or the other, both.”
                    So if Rachinger did hack The Standard and found something of public interest (like Andrew Little lying about Labour staff posting on the site) he would still be a criminal in your eyes, but that would be okay because he would have done the country a service?

                    Tory said he has no issues with the prosecution of Rachinger, so it actually looks like you are on the same side of the argument, but you are angry that someone would dare try and expose the lies of the left if they do in fact exist.

                    “Rawshark did the country a great service by exposing a National Party crim. In response, the crim tried to attack The Standard.”
                    So even though he most likely was completely wrong (as usual) in his assertion that Labour staff did in fact post on The Standard, he shouldn’t stoop to the levels of Rawshark and Hager?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      …but that would be okay…

                      Nope. One action doesn’t cancel the other in any way whatsoever.

                      …and Hager.

                      And there it is: the butt-hurt. Hager exposed Dear Leader and his creatures and you cannot forgive him for that. Diddums.

                    • Bob

                      “And there it is: the butt-hurt. Hager exposed Dear Leader and his creatures and you cannot forgive him for that. Diddums.”

                      Not quite OAB, Rachinger and Blubber, Rawshark and Hager, simply pointing out the similarities once more.
                      However I take it from your usual ad hom that you have finally realised that the only difference is Rawshark succeeded in his attack and found something, Rachinger didn’t succeed and so found nothing.

                    • Carolyn_nth

                      OAB:
                      Hager exposed Dear Leader and his creatures

                      And that probably was the beginning of the end for JK. With the slick 2-track machine crippled, the line from JK to Slater fractured….

                      The Nats were able to get back in power in 2014 with a wafer thin majority. But JK’s popularity has been in steady decline – then JK’s international political cronies falling like a house of cards… not a lot to keep him in power.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Keep telling yourself that telling lies about Hager “stooping” doesn’t display your pain for all to see. It’s a bit like Slater lashing out at The Standard.

                      Meanwhile, on Earth, Hager simply did his job within the law. But that’s the way for you lot: just as the National Party used Slater to attack its enemies rather than debate with them, you rail impotently at Hager because he exposed your gutter values.

                      lol

                    • Bob

                      OAB, you mean Hager’s job as a journalist? Again, what is the difference?
                      http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/10492707/Court-Cameron-Slater-a-journalist

                      lol

      • Pete George 8.1.2

        Can you produce any evidence that he’s associated with the National Party? He’s been obviously well out of that loop over the last week, and for some time prior.

        Lately he’s been on show doing his best to trash the party and the leadership change.

      • Zid 8.1.3

        Zero legacy? You don’t get to be the most popular PM in history with no legacy, but I’m not going to detail it for you. But I guess JK’s legacy will always be better than 8% Angry Andy who’s legacy will be a failed attempt as leader of the dysfunctional Labour Party….

        • One Anonymous Bloke 8.1.3.1

          You can’t detail it for me, because it doesn’t exist. I always find it amusing when you clay-footed types think that your talking points on Andrew Little mean much to a Green voter.

          • Rae 8.1.3.1.1

            I feel I do need to point something out, much as it pains me, but Key has left what could well be a lasting legacy, yearly WOFs for cars, not exactly sure if he actually came up with the idea, though.

    • Sacha 8.2

      Rawshark knows they committed a crime by hacking and has said so. The test of the criminality of what is subsequently done with the information involves the concept of ‘in the public interest’, which is why Hager has never been charged whereas Slater has. Letting the slug walk away given his previous convictions was a breach of justice in my opinion. Unamused.

    • Zid 8.3

      BINGO, the hypocrisy in here blows my mind

      • One Anonymous Bloke 8.3.1

        If The Standard and the National Party’s attack blog were in some way equivalent, you’d have a point. They aren’t, and you don’t.

        To whit: there is no public interest whatsoever in publishing the identities and back-room chatter of The Standard’s authors. Whereas the National Party’s attack blog was fed directly from the Prime Minister’s office. The disgraced and increasingly irrelevant Slater is the only person who believes otherwise.

        Rawshark exposed Slater’s – and more importantly, the National Party’s – corrupt and dishonest values, Slater responded by falling on his face while attempting to attack a third party – The Standard.

        I know you hate to hear all this, that’s why I enjoy rubbing your face in it.

        • tracey 8.3.1.1

          Presumably these pillars of morality have forgotten the cabinet manual’s requirement of all Cab Ministers in both personal and professional dealings to behave to the “highest ethical standards”. What with them being so hot on hypocrisy

          • One Anonymous Bloke 8.3.1.1.1

            Good point, normally they prefer to exclude people from their little clubs.

            PS: and so nice to see you commenting here 🙂

            • tracey 8.3.1.1.1.1

              Well, they so much want Slater’s claim that “Labour does it too” to be right, and despite all the resources, clean and dirty, they just cant produce evidence of it.

    • tracey 8.4

      Slater was hacked, it seems, to reveal backroom collusion of cabinet ministers and a Pm (that borders on corruption) and meets most whistleblowing thresholds.

      Had Slater found that Labour MPs were pretending to be average joes and Josephine’s here, then that might have qualified. it didn’t, so it doesnt. i dont pretend to understand why this difference is lost on some people.

      • Tory 8.4.1

        No it didn’t as the “Whistle Blowing” legislation protects employees from disclosing information about their employer, not hacking of computers.
        Still a typical response in which you claim the greater good; I wonder if your morality goes as far as to include political assassination if (in your view) it’s for “the greater good”..

        • tracey 8.4.1.1

          Big leap to utilitarianism there when I was trying to describe the legal notion of “public good”. I know what the protected disclosure legislation covers but the entire concept of “whistle blowing” is related to the legal principle of “public good”.

          Where do you stand on the “highest ethical standards” of our cabinet members and the many over the years, and some recently, who have breached it? Enough to make you not vote for those who breached and those who allowed the breaches to go unpunished?

          • Tory 8.4.1.1.1

            Highest ethical standards?, Dalziel lied about leaking an immigration report and was forced out of Cabinet in 2004, then of course we had Rick Barker (and disgraced former MP Darren Hughes who was Whip) bullshitting over the Yang Liu immigration deception.

            My point being don’t throw stones when you live in a glasshouse.

            Back to the point, again you are unable to avoid the tag as a hypocrite when celebrating the hack of one persons computer but condoning when it occurs to yours.

            Lastly, since time began politicians have leaked info, shared info or just plain lied. National is not “Lilly White” when it comes to this but by no means is your precious Labour innocent either.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 8.4.1.1.1.1

              The operative phrase being was forced from Cabinet, not was the Prime Minister.

            • Tracey 8.4.1.1.1.2

              My point being I didnt differentiate between party breaches. You seem to now be saying that if they did it, it’s ok for the other lot to do it. Whereas I am saying no one should be doing it. “your precious Labour” shows your jaundice. It is possible to want ALL politicians as Cabinet Members to be held to the cabinet Manual. The Lot that are in right now are National, and subject to the Cabinet manual (or not as it appears) and the former PM of that party promised transparency and accountability and to be different from Clark’s labour on that score. He wasn’t. Bill won’t abe nd your moral outrage above about hypocrisy is itself, hypocrisy.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 8.4.1.2

          Morality lesson from a Slater-cuddler 🙄

  9. Benjamin Rachinger, 28, appeared in the Manukau District Court on Monday for what was supposed to be his judge-alone trial on a charge of obtaining money from Slater.

    Instead Rachinger pleaded guilty to the charge and a sentencing date was set for March next year.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/87454966/Former-Whale-Oil-associate-Ben-Rachinger-admits-deception-charge

    • lprent 9.1

      Well it always going to be a hard task to get off.

      Personally if I was him, and I am sure that any lawyer would have said the same, he should have taken the diversion offered rather than turning it down. He actually fitted the criteria in a way that Cameron Slater did not.

      His actual crime was taking advantage of a fool, who was unable to distinguish between fantasy and common sense. While Rachinger was prosecuted for NOT doing a criminal act for our deluded fool even when paid to do it, the hassle of court is just aggravating. He should have taken the diversion and learnt to avoid trying to scam delusional suckered in future.

      I see that Cameron’s similarly deluded West Auckland dumbos from Large Fiddlers have been activextremely in response to this. They really are rather thick.

  10. Observer Tokoroa 10

    .
    Hi Tory

    Because of National’s very “close” friendship, the Police (not for the first time) broke serious Law by stealing Nick Hagers property and writings. Deliberate illegality – with total bias towards the National Party. Hager lost his ability to carry on his profession.

    Now, New Zealand is having to pay considerable compensation, while all the while National and its trolls denied “Dirty Tricks”.

    Vote for Corruption – Vote National

  11. HDCAFriendlyTroll 11

    Somebody paid somebody for something that somebody said they had gotten by hacking somebody and that somebody got upset because even though somebody said they hadn’t really hacked anybody that somebody still had to do some work and waste time just in case the somebody had actually hacked that somebody.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 11.1

      I take it you don’t use anti-virus software then. Or you just don’t want to talk about Cameron Slater’s close relationship with the National Party?

      • HDCAFriendlyTroll 11.1.1

        I use an Apple. I don’t need anti-virus software. 🙂

        If I had been LPrent I would be mightily angry at someone claiming he had hacked into The Standard. As LPrent said previously, when someone claims to have hacked but there’s no evidence to say that he did it makes things infinitely more difficult. You basically have to test every possible hacking scenario or at least go over everything to see if a hack has taken place.

        Contrary to popular belief 90% of hacking (not counting bots) is done through social engineering. It’s why companies spend time and money training their employees not to give away their passwords to someone saying they’re “Sam from I.T.”

        Ben is a social engineer and a very good one. I don’t believe he has or had the skills to hack into The Standard and if he did I doubt very much he would have the skills to clean up after himself and hide his footprints.

        • Cinny 11.1.1.1

          “Contrary to popular belief 90% of hacking (not counting bots) is done through social engineering”

          true that 🙂

        • weka 11.1.1.2

          I’m not sure that Rachinger ever claimed to have actually hacked TS apart from when he was stringing Slater along.

        • lprent 11.1.1.3

          If I had been LPrent I would be mightily angry at someone claiming he had hacked into The Standard.

          Why? Claims like that are pretty frequent. Most of the time it takes only a glance at their claims to know that they are spurious. In this case I was pretty sure that it was spurious as soon as I engaged with Rachanger. But when yhe amounts of money on offer became clear and because of Cameron Slater’s previous criminal acts of accessing and storing data from systems without authorisation, I was obliged to check more deeply. It cost several days of time because of the lack of any defined locus. But that was a relatively limited cost.

          I was far more angry that Cameron or anyone was offering significant amounts of cash for a hack on my servers. That massively increased the level of threat that I had to plan on withstanding. It has resulted in a very costly and massive hardening of the site to deal with some even larger funded threats. All because Cameron Slater (and his unnamed “funder”) is a deluded fool who has always thought that we must be like his brutish, deluded, hypocritical, cowardly and generally stupid self.

          And incidentally if you rely on OSX or iOS defending you from viruses targeted at Apple products, then I would have you call you a fool as well. I run on Linux and operate with virus protection turned on for all instan cessation that aren’t embedded off the net. Linux is less than 1% of the systems that access this site compared to the 15% of OSX and the 10% of iOS. OF course you are target. And no Apple OSX has more than nominal inherent protection against infestation.

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  • Grant Illingworth KC appointed as transitional Commissioner to Royal Commission

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  • Backing mental health services on the West Coast

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    11 hours ago
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  • Commissioner replaces Health NZ Board

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  • Minister to speak at Australian Space Forum

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  • Climate Change Minister to attend climate action meeting in China

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  • Oceans and Fisheries Minister to Solomons

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  • Update on global IT outage

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  • New Zealand, Japan renew Pacific partnership

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  • New infrastructure energises BOP forestry towns

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  • 'Pacific Futures'

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  • Delivering 24 hour pothole repairs

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    5 days ago
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    1 week ago
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    1 week ago
  • Regional Development Minister to host summits

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  • Government delivers new school for Rolleston

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    1 week ago
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  • NZ, Korea strengthen relationship

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  • Investing for future growth in tourism and hospitality

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    1 week ago
  • 4000 more job seekers to get case managers

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    1 week ago
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    1 week ago
  • Ministers reveal consequences for unruly Kāinga Ora tenants

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  • Prime Minister wraps up US visit in California

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  • Prime Minister leads Indo-Pacific Four at NATO

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    2 weeks ago
  • District Court judges appointed

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