Hacker pleads guilty to attacks on UK Police, Oxbridge university websites

Filed Under: Denial of Service, Featured, Law & order

Radcliffe Camera, Oxford. Image from ShutterstockA 21-year-old British man has pleaded guilty to charges that he attempted to bring down a number of websites, including those belonging to Oxford and Cambridge universities, as well as the site belonging to the Kent Police force who ultimately arrested him.

Lewys Stephen Martin was charged last November, following an investigation by Kent Police's Special Branch investigations team, and the Kent Police Digital Forensic Unit.

Investigators discovered that Martin had used the online alias "Sl1ink" when he anonymously contacted the media, claiming to have shut down the Kent Police website.

According to a police statement, the university and police websites were only temporarily disrupted and were not compromised during the attack.

Nevertheless, prosecutor Ken Goss said that both universities estimated that they spent approximately two weeks' worth of man hours, dealing with the attacks.

At Maidstone Crown Court, Martin pleaded guilty to a total of nine charges:

  • five counts of "unauthorised acts with intent to impair operation of or prevent/hinder access to a computer"
  • two counts of "unauthorised computer access with intent to commit other offences"
  • one count of "unauthorised computer access with intent to commit other offences"
  • one count of "unauthorised access to computer material"

Martin is scheduled to be sentenced in May.

Hopefully, if you are a regular reader of Naked Security, you will know by now that denial-of-service attacks are against the law in many countries around the world, and realise that the consequences of participating in such attacks can result in a prison sentence.

Just because something is easy to do via the internet, doesn't mean it should be done.

Image of Oxford Radcliffe Camera image courtesy of Shutterstock.

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2 Responses to Hacker pleads guilty to attacks on UK Police, Oxbridge university websites

  1. Lumi · 556 days ago

    You know something must be seriously wrong with our society when convicted rapists get much lenient sentences that hacktivits.

  2. John · 555 days ago

    ^ very true.

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About the author

Graham Cluley runs his own award-winning computer security blog, and is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and gives computer security presentations. Send Graham an email, subscribe to his updates on Facebook, follow him on Twitter and App.net, and circle him on Google Plus for regular updates.