Convicted cybercriminal hacks prison's computer systems

2013-03-04

Helen Martin

Virus Bulletin, UK
Editor: Helen Martin

Abstract

Epic fail as convicted hacker enrolls in IT class for inmates.


It has been revealed that a convicted cybercriminal hacked into a UK prison computer system after participating in an IT class for inmates. 21-year-old Nicholas Webber was sentenced to five years imprisonment in 2011 for running the GhostMarket.Net website, which sold stolen credit card details as well as offering tutorials on how to commit identity theft and online scams. It transpires that while serving his sentence at HMP Isis in South London, Webber enrolled in the prison’s IT course, and that during the course he managed to hack into the prison’s computer systems. The incident has come to light after the leader of the course – who subsequently lost his job – instigated a claim for unfair dismissal, arguing that it was not his decision to put Webber in his class, and that he was not aware that Webber was a convicted hacker. A spokesperson for the Prison Service asserted that the computer system used in the IT classes was a closed network and that ‘no access to personal information or wider access to the Internet or other prison systems would have been possible.’

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