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18 May 2012, 09:19

British hackers get jail terms

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Scales icon Two separate and very different cases in the UK saw hackers receive jail terms of twelve and eighteen months. In one case a 21-year old British man, Gareth Crosskey of West Sussex, plead guilty to hacking into a US citizen's Facebook account and gaining access to that person's email account in January 2011. The Metropolitan Police Service's Police Central e-Crime Unit (PCeU) was informed of the breach via the FBI and arrested Crosskey in July 2011 under the Computer Misuse Act. The PCeU says that "By taking swift action" it was "able to quickly detain Crosskey thereby preventing further disruption to the victim", and says it hopes the prosecution acts as a deterrent.

In the other case, reported on Kent Online, a twenty year old hacker by the name of Lewys Martin was found to have been using a Call of Duty "patch", which was in fact a trojan carrying a keylogger and other malware. Martin is said to have acquired credentials and sold them for $1 to $5 on an online market; the proceeds were transferred to a Costa Rica based account. But his online activities were not detected until after he was caught attempting to burgle Walmer Science College in Deal in March 2012. He had previously attempted to burgle South Kent College in May 2011 and had been caught and prosecuted.

It turned out that he had burgled the college the previous month, and before that a community college in Deal, Dover College, and a Co-Op Store. Last November, the sentencing in that case had been suspended so Martin could attend a computer course at university. Martin was sentenced to 18 months for three burglary and fraud charges and has asked for five other offences to be taken into consideration. Meanwhile, the Crown Prosecution Service is reportedly launching an investigation in an attempt to recover the money Martin made through his online activities.


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