While it doesn’t happen often, two hackers in the UK are facing time in the slammer after guilty verdicts in two separate cyber break in cases.
In one case a 21-year old British man, Gareth Crosskey of West Sussex, pleaded guilty to hacking into U.S. singer Selena Gomez’ Facebook account and gaining access to her email in January 2011.
The Metropolitan Police Service’s Police Central e-Crime Unit (PCeU) learned of the breach via the FBI and arrested Crosskey in July 2011 under the Computer Misuse Act. The PCeU said “by taking swift action” it was “able to quickly detain Crosskey thereby preventing further disruption to the victim.” The PCeU also said it hopes the prosecution acts as a deterrent.
Judge John Price at Southwark Crown Court told Crosskey: “You are clever with a computer and you hacked into the private part of somebody’s Facebook account – that somebody was a singer, a celebrity called Selena Gomez.
“People deserve privacy and should not have their private correspondence by email made public.
“People are entitled to privacy even those who seek publicity.”
Prosecutor Corrine Bramwell said Crosskey also boasted about the incident by posting a video on YouTube demonstrating how he had hacked the page.
In the other case, a 20-year-old hacker, Lewys Martin, used a Call of Duty “patch,” which was a Trojan carrying a keylogger and other malware. Martin acquired credentials and sold them for $1 to $5 on an online market; the proceeds transferred to a Costa Rica based account, officials said.
His online activities remained undetected until police caught him attempting to break into Walmer Science College in Deal, UK, in March 2012. He had previously attempted to break into South Kent College in May 2011, but officials caught and prosecuted him.
It turned out he had broke into the college the previous month, and before that a community college in Deal, Dover College, and a Co-Op Store. Last November, officials suspended the sentencing so Martin could attend a computer course at school. Martin got 18 months for three burglary and fraud charges. Meanwhile, the Crown Prosecution Service is launching an investigation in an attempt to recover the money Martin made through his online activities.