A computer hacker who was responsible for thousands of cyber-attacks on firms around the world including Skype and Google has been convicted.
Alex Bessell, 21, from Liverpool, pleaded guilty at Birmingham Crown Court on 4 December to a number of offences under the Computer Misuse Act.
He was also convicted of various other offences, including money laundering, which were linked to the hacks.
As well as the cyber-attacks, Bessell was responsible for creating programmes for sale allowing others across the globe to conduct Denial of Service (DoS) attacks and steal data.
When police raided his home, his computer was found to hold 750 names and passwords from infected computers. It also held two programs which are designed to infect computers and retrieve email, banking and log-in details from a web data form before passing it over the internet to a secure server.
He also created an online marketplace and sold both his and others’ malware products which enabled users to spread viruses.
These included remote administration tools, denial of service packages, programmes to bypass anti-virus software and other malicious programmes. He took a cut of the sales and his earnings from cyber-crime exceeded US$50,000.
Bessell’s site advertised 9,077 items and it had 1,000,000 recorded visitors with over 34,000 sales.
He registered the company using a false address to give it a legitimate company status.
He was arrested following an investigation by West Midlands police’s Cyber Regional Organised Crime Unit.
Hannah Sidaway, for the Crown Prosecution Service, said: “Bessell was responsible for the creation, use and distribution of computer malware from 2010 onwards – during which time law enforcement have seen this type of criminality grow at a phenomenal rate.
“His actions enabled others across the world to commit thousands of criminal attacks. Such activity can result in the compromising of personal data, extortion, loss of valuable data or work, loss of custom for businesses and a high cost to rectify the damage sustained.
“Bessell’s arrest and prosecution was a result of a lengthy and complex police operation, which spanned several countries and involved the collection and analysis of detailed data to identify him. The CPS provided investigative advice to the police at an early stage to ensure a case was built that could lead to his charging and eventual prosecution.”
He will be sentenced on 5 January at the same court.
Sourc: CPS, CNS, BBCNews,
https://parkfarmneighbourhoodwatch.blogspot.com E&OE Julian Bray Editor Tel:+44 (0)1733 345581 .