Two UK hackers get jail after online bragging outed them


A youth has been imprisoned for 16 months for DDoS-ing UK police websites, while another got 20 months after being caught advertising compromised data and illegal hacking services

Keeping trophies of one’s kill might suit a hunter, but not a hacker. Even more dangerous is bragging about it, as three hackers realised in the past few days.

A youth who was arrested for DDoS-ing UK police websites was imprisoned for 16 months. He was nabbed after he jeered at police on social media about the attacks. Liam Reece Watts, who was 19 when he was arrested in 2018, targeted the websites of Greater Manchester Police, Cheshire Police, and the Cheshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner.

Reportedly, one of his many twitter rants went like this: "@Cheshirepolice want to send me to prison for a bomb hoax I never did, here you f****** go, here is what I’m guilty of."

"The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) also asked for a restraining order to be put in place that restricts the defendant’s ownership and use of computer equipment, storage and access to the internet for the next five years. This was agreed by the court," said the conviction announcement.

Close on the heels of the court ruling, another teen hacker was sentenced to 20 months in prison and ordered to pay back more than £400,000 after supplying online personal data and hacking services in exchange for thousands of pounds worth of ‘cryptocurrency’.

Elliot Gunton, 19, was advertising compromised data and hacking theft services, but took complex and sophisticated measures to conceal and delete his activity, said the statement from Norfolk Constabulary, UK. He offered his services in exchange for £2,500 in Bitcoin, rather than hard currency, in a bid to hide the payments being discovered by police.

However, he could not resist the pleasure of bragging. "In a Twitter post under one of his online identities ‘@Gambler’, Gunton posted a message stating ‘having lots of money is cool….but having lots of money without people knowing is cooler’," said the police statement.

Both court rulings come weeks after the FBI has arrested former software engineer Paige Thompson for illegally accessing the data of Capital One Financial Corporation through a misconfigured web application firewall.

The Seattle programmer was caught after a GitHub user alerted Capital One that she was bragging online about the bank’s data that she held. "Ive basically strapped myself with a bomb vest, fucking dropping capitol ones dox and admitting it," she wrote in a Twitter conversation.

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