Jail sentences handed out for hacking and phishing

News by Marcos Colon

Last week a number of jail sentences were imposed on cyber criminals.

Last week a number of jail sentences were imposed on cyber criminals.

According to Kent Online, 20-year-old Lewys Martin of Deal distributed a Trojan horse among players of Call of Duty, which logged keystrokes and stole bank details, credit card numbers and internet passwords. He spread the Trojan claiming it was a patch for the game and sold the credentials for up to $5 a transaction.

While on bail he broke into the Walmer Science College in Deal where he attempted to steal a computer, hard drive, walkie-talkies and other equipment. He has now been jailed for 18 months on three convictions of burglary and fraud.

Gareth Crosskey, from Sompting in West Sussex, was sentenced to a year in prison after he admitted hacking into the Facebook account of Selena Gomez, the girlfriend of pop star Justin Bieber, and accessing her private messages.

Charged with two offences under the Computer Misuse Act, Crosskey was arrested after the hack was initially reported to the FBI, who traced its source to the UK and alerted the Met's Police Central e-Crime Unit.

The unit's statement said: “Today's result should act as a deterrent to any individuals thinking of participating in this type of criminal activity. By taking swift action, officers were able to quickly detain Crosskey, thereby preventing further disruption to the victim.”

Also in the US, Nichole Michelle Merzi from Oceanside, California was sentenced to more than five years in prison after being convicted of bank and wire-fraud conspiracy, aggravated identity theft, computer fraud conspiracy and money laundering. She also played an integral part in what authorities code-named ‘Operation Phish Phry', an international phishing ring that looted more than $1 million.

Merzi's then-boyfriend Kenneth Lucas II was sentenced in June 2011 to 11 years in prison after pleading guilty to 49 counts of bank and wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, computer fraud and money laundering conspiracy.

The ringleaders teamed up with cyber criminals in Egypt who hijacked the bank account information from Wells Fargo and Bank of America customers through common phishing techniques. According to the FBI, victims of the scheme would receive emails appearing to be from their banks, and were then redirected to websites that posed as official banking institutions asking for their credentials.

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