Team Poison hacker jailed over Tony Blair security breach

Filed Under: Data loss, Law & order, Privacy

Tony BlairA teenage hacker who stole private information belonging to former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, and clogged up the UK's national anti-terrorism telephone hotline, has been jailed for six months.

Junaid Hussain, 18, of Birmingham, broke into the Gmail account of Blair aide Katie Kay and stole information including Tony Blair's address and phone book - containing email addresses, phone numbers and postal addresses for Blair's family, friends and MPs.

Members of the Team Poison hacking gang then published the hacked information online, sparking security fears about the safety of the former Prime Minister, his friends and associates.

Message posted by Team Poison

When Hussain was arrested in April, a Facebook chat window on his computer bragged of "hacking a number of different people and organisations, including Tony Blair".

Hussain's defence team claimed that his crimes were no worse than a "teenage prank" and compared his antics to those of Oxford University's notorious Bullingdon Club, whose past members include current British PM David Cameron and London Mayor Boris Johnson.

Such arguments failed to impress Judge Nicholas Loraine-Smith at Southwark Crown Court, however, who told Hussian that both the hack and the prank calls to the hotline - which resulted in an 850 per cent increase in calls to the service - deserved a custodial sentence.

Hussain was duly sentenced to six months in prison.

A spell in prison isn't the best way to start off your adult life. If you have an affinity with computers, don't misuse your skills to break into the accounts of other people.

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8 Responses to Team Poison hacker jailed over Tony Blair security breach

  1. Charlie · 1164 days ago

    It was his own fault. He broke the law. Simple.

    No it's never a great start to adult life with half a year in jail, but then again... I repeat the above.

  2. Deon Fialkov · 1164 days ago

    I think it's reckless to jail hackers. Hackers PROVE that systems are vulnerable. It is brilliant for someone to identify a flawed system. Instead of JAILING the hackers...why don't these HACKERS work to help SECURE these systems? Look at what the FBI offered Kevin Mitnick : JAIL or help them...guess he chose to help them... The guy that did that breach was 18 years old...which just proves that what he did was way too easy...
    Accessing a gmail account is not worthy of bragging about; what he did with that information was wrong; but maybe the hacked party should look into employing the 18 year old to secure their network properly...instead of boasting their incompetence by jailing him...Not all hackers are bad, evil people...if the systems were secure - then you wouldn't have this hassle...

    • 2072 · 1164 days ago

      Being able to do something doesn't mean you actually have to do it. There are plenty of other unsecured things besides computer systems yet people respect the law and don't breach them (else every shop would have to look like a jewelry).

      People such as this young hacker just seem to lose the sense of reality when using computers ; now I don't think jail is a good solution (ever), he'll surely come out worse but that's another matter altogether.

    • Anon · 1163 days ago

      Should the same apply to those who break into your home? after all they PROVE your locks are vulnerable by breaking in.

      Why should hackers be let off?

      The bottom line is you should not be hacking or performing penetration testing without permission.

  3. December · 1164 days ago

    I, kinda, put this along the lines of breaking into someone's house and stealing, so yeah, I think 6 months is a fair sentence. 18 is a pretty "grown up" age

  4. Hypl0x · 1164 days ago

    Google Hacktivism. Find out what TeamP0is0n stands for, before jumping to conclusions.

  5. anoniem · 1164 days ago

    You are Anonymous, i am anonymous

  6. gypsy · 1164 days ago

    I thought team poison said they were done. No team anymore. Where have i been??

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About the author

Graham Cluley runs his own award-winning computer security blog at, 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. Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley