All that Steven Oakes had to do was get within wi-fi range of a Melbourne financial publishing company, and that was close enough to hack their system and skim a profit from the share market.
The Sydney IT consultant was on Tuesday jailed for three years for his insider trading crimes. However, he will walk free in 18 months as long as he behaves himself.
Oakes, 42, admitted in June last year that he gained unauthorised access between 2012 and 2016 to information from Port Phillip Publishing's private computer network.
He initially used hacking software, Aircrack, to tap into the system and find login credentials of staff with privileged access.
Oakes subsequently used the details to log in remotely.
The inside information he sourced was used to help purchase shares that were about to be published in the "buy" stock recommendation reports.
He pocketed hundreds of thousands of dollars in profits from the scam by using information on 70 occasions to buy shares in 52 companies.
Oakes sold the shares the day after the recommendations were published, averaging profits of 6.5 per cent.
The scam came to an end in 2015 when the publisher upgraded computer network security.
In late 2015, he was investigated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, but panicked and deleted key evidence the watchdog had requested for its investigation.
By 2016, Oakes began cooperating with ASIC, telling investigators how he gained access and began producing documentary evidence.
He later told investigators he was trying "to get ahead in life more generally" and justified his actions by telling himself "it was the whole system that was unfair".
County Court of Victoria judge Mandy Fox said Oakes had multiple opportunities to stop, but only ceased his behaviour when he was no longer able to hack the software.
"Insider trading is a form of cheating. Is has the capacity to undermine the integrity of the market," she said.
"It is not a victimless crime."
However, she noted the information he acted on was not "a sure thing", that his actions had not produced a sudden increase in the volume of a stock, and did not use speciality products in order to maximise his returns.
In recent times, Oakes has worked as a ride-share driver and lives at home with his parents.
He has been on bail for most of his legal proceedings.
Oakes previously pleaded guilty to eight counts of insider trading, one charge of unauthorised access to data in a computer with intention to commit a serious crime, and one charge of conduct resulting in the concealment, destruction, mutilation or alteration of information required by ASIC.
He was given a three-year jail term, but will be released after 18 months on a recognisance release order provided he is of good behaviour.
Australian Associated Press