An IT professional allegedly launched a cyber attack against a major Melbourne shopping centre a day after he was accused of stealing shorts.
Xi Hu allegedly used distributed-denial-of-service (DDOS) attacks against Chadstone Shopping Centre and Aussie Broadband last year.
The 34-year-old launched the targeted attacks because of "perceived slights", crown prosecutor Kristie Churchill told the Supreme Court at a bail hearing on Thursday.
Hu was charged over "unauthorised impairment of electronic communication" of computers belonging to Chadstone between November 15 and 21 last year.
The attacks allegedly happened while he was already on police bail accused of launching a cyber attack on Aussie Broadband in June as well as Chadstone and Kathmandu stores in October.
"He has demonstrated a willingness to act upon those (perceived slights)," the prosecutor said.
The alleged attacks in October started the day after he was accused of stealing a pair of $130 shorts from the Kathmandu store in Chadstone.
Hu's lawyer argued he should be granted bail because he had no criminal history, extensive delays caused by the pandemic and his time on remand could be greater than a sentence.
"There is a risk he may reoffend, but my submission is it is far from an unacceptable risk in light of the current circumstances," barrister Belinda Franjic said.
If there were any similar offences while out on bail, Hu would be the first person police would investigate, she said.
"Someone did something to you that you didn't like ... as a result of that you've gone off and allegedly committed a further cyber attack," Justice Rita Incerti said.
Despite his breaches and concerns he could re-offend, she granted him bail.
But she warned him his offending was concerning and bail was being granted because of his lengthy time on remand, issues caused by the pandemic and his lack of prior history.
"You've got knowledge and skills but you've not put them to good use," the justice said.
"Don't think I don't consider these allegations extremely serious even though they're rare."
Bail conditions imposed included restricting his internet use, prohibiting him from using anonymising services and surrendering his passport.
He was also banned from going to Kathmandu stores, Chadstone Shopping Centre, The Glen shopping centre and the shopping centre at Box Hill.
Australian Associated Press
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