Former college student spared jail over hacking offences

19th December 2017 at 18:05
Teenager helped others stage cyber attacks on an international scale and claimed responsibility online before he was brought to justice

A former college student who hacked into the UK’s national research and education network (NREN) has been given a 16-month suspended sentence.

Jack Chappell, 19, from Stockport, disrupted access to the network for several hours on the Janet Network, owned and run by Jisc – the member organisation for digital technology and resources in FE and HE.

Chappell, a former student at The Manchester College, was also involved in an online site which helped other hackers perform attacks on an international scale, with targets including organisations like Amazon, the BBC, BT, Netflix, Virgin Media, Vodafone and the National Crime Agency, before being investigated by the South East Regional Organised Crime Unit (SEROCU) and West Midlands Police. He had initially been under investigation for computer misuse offences at The Manchester College. His crimes, some of which he claimed responsibility for on social media, are said to have taken place in 2015 and 2016.

Cyber crime 'an increasing problem'

Chappell pleaded guilty to cyber crimes and was sentenced at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court today.

Jisc chief executive Paul Feldman said: “As soon as we were aware of the problem, we worked hard to assist police in exposing the perpetrator and bringing him to justice. Cyber crime is an increasing problem so we are very pleased to have been able to assist the police in their investigation of this case; it sends a strong message to other would-be attackers that such criminal behaviour will not be tolerated.”

And Det Sgt Rob Bryant, from SEROCU’s cyber crime unit, said: “Throughout the investigation, we worked closely with Jisc. We would like to thank them for their assistance, particularly in providing key details and technical evidence which helped to locate the defendant and bring him to justice.”

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