Posted on 5/19/11
UK teenagers were lucky to escape jail
Brighton, UK residents Zachary Woodham (19) and Louis Tobenhouse (18) narrowly escaped jail this week, but have to do some hefty community service, after pleading guilty to hacking into online gambling and hosting websites and stealing credit card details which they subsequently sold on a ‘black' hacker site.
Woodham received a one-year suspended prison sentence and 240 hours of unpaid work for having performed an unauthorized modification to a computer, and to a six-months suspended prison sentence and 120 hours of unpaid work for encouraging crime, with both sentences to run concurrently.
Tobenhouse was handed down two sentences of 200 hours of unpaid work and a 12 month community service for encouraging crime and possession of articles for fraud.
The court heard from investigators of the Metropolitcan Police's Central e-Crime Unit how the two were apprehended by police late last year following an investigation that began when Woodham, who called himself "Colonel Root" hacked a hosting site, taunting the staff with their inability to stop him and motivating them to report the incident to the police.
Subsequent investigations led police to Woodham's home, where a search revealed his criminal association with Tobenhaus and evidence of their repeated attacks on internet gambling and web hosting sites. Thousands of credit card numbers and details were apparently involved.
Both hackers were found to have been active on a now defunct site frequented by hackers, offering their advice and posting tutorials on how to gain unauthorised access to websites and commit theft and other crimes.
Stuart Hosking, an investigator with the e-Crime Unit, said: "Woodham and Tobenhouse chose to abuse their computer skills, causing a considerable amount of financial loss and anxiety to a number of innocent people.
"Woodham in particular has shown himself to be a vindictive hacker with no sign of remorse towards any of his victims."
In March this year the hacker forum was shut down after four members, including the site's founder, were arrested on criminal charges.