A hacker who was arrested after targeting an organisation in Derbyshire will be working with them to help bolster their security.

Detectives from the Derbyshire Cybercrime Unit were contacted by a business in the county after they believed that their networks had been breached by cybercriminals.

Following an investigation, a 24-year-old man from London was arrested for computer misuse by the Metropolitan Police.

The man admitted accessing email accounts by using information found on social media sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook to identify targets and bypass their security questions. This then gave him access to information held by the organisation, which has asked not to be identified.

Instead of pursuing a prosecution, the victims agreed to a ‘restorative justice’ option whereby the hacker will now be giving advice to the organisation about cyber security and some of the methods used to breach networks.

Detective Constable Mick Donegan, Derbyshire Cybercrime Unit Investigator, said:

When the man was questioned in relation to the network breach, he admitted his actions but was unaware that he had broken the law. As a result of a successful investigation working with the business and the Metropolitan Police, he will now be working with the affected company to assist them in strengthening their network security.

It is important to raise awareness of these types of activities as regardless of computer skills, curiosity or good intentions, Computer Misuse Act offences are still being committed. Police and the National Crime agency take cybercrime very seriously and action will be taken against offenders.

Earlier this week, the National Crime Agency have re-released their #CyberChoices film to help to raise awareness of similar issues such as this, particularly parents and carers of those likely to become involved in this criminality.

The film shows two overly naïve parents talking about their son’s skills with a computer without knowing exactly what they’re talking about, or, more crucially, what their son has actually been up to.

This comes as part of an ongoing project which sees the NCA’s National Cyber Crime Unit working alongside colleagues in the FBI and Europol to target those involved in hacking activity.

Published – 20th December 2016