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back to article Call of Duty hacker behind bars after college burglary

A Brit who distributed a Trojan horse that posed as a patch for popular shoot-em-up game Call of Duty has been jailed for 18 months. Lewys Martin, 20, of Deal in Kent, used the malware to harvest bank login credentials, credit card details and internet passwords from the compromised Windows PCs of his victims. Martin then …

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FAIL

Printouts?

"printouts of stolen credit card numbers"

Has he never heard of the paperless office? I rarely feel the need to print anything out , nevermind incriminating evidence.

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Holmes

Not exactly Professor Moriarty

University standards must be at an all-time low, if they can't even produce a half-decent criminal mastermind.

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Re: Not exactly Professor Moriarty

How would one tell from this article? A half-decent criminal mastermind wouldn't be caught (especially the way this chap was picked up - not through any tracing of his on-line activities at all).

Come to think of it, a half-decent criminal mastermind would probably be heading up the police department which investigates cyber-crime.. he'd find it dead easy to land that job, ISTM.

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Anonymous Coward

Did he get caught during TWO separate burglaries?

I might be reading this wrong, but it sounds like he either was convicted previously for [something else], or he was on the hook for this after his first failed burglary and then proceeded to get caught again.

"Martin's activities might have gone undiscovered if not for his arrest during what police described as a drunken attempt to break into a local college ... Police who raided Martin's home discovered printouts of stolen credit card numbers"

"The student was convicted last November but his sentence was deferred in order to allow Martin to complete a university computer course. However bail was revoked after Martin was caught with several other individuals trying to break into a Walmer Science College"

I can't tell from the way it's worded. Exactly how much of a moron is this guy? (on the 8-10 end of the scale we're talking here)

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FAIL

Re: Did he get caught during TWO separate burglaries?

Yes! The linked article is much clearer - there were the two burglaries implied, plus at least another three, so it seems more like an idiot thief who branched out into computer crime.

He's forgetting the golden rule, do one thing well, see also drug couriers who get busted when they get stopped for a duff light or speeding or no insurance...

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Thumb Up

@Iain - Re: Did he get caught during TWO separate burglaries?

Iain wrote :- "the golden rule, do one thing well, see also drug couriers who get busted when they get stopped for a duff light or speeding or no insurance"

A better rule is never to break more than one rule at a time. Doing one thing well is not enough.

I remember the Aldershot Barracks IRA bombers; they were identified because the idiots drove the wrong way up a one-way street on the way to planting the bomb, attracting attention and getting thier number taken by a member of the public.

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Windows

Seems they're only catching idiots nowadays.

"Martin's activities might have gone undiscovered if not for his arrest during what police described as a drunken attempt to break into a local college and steal computer equipment."

Given that most smart hackers would never do that, it only adds to concerns raised in the El Reg story earlier today that UK hacking prosecutions are down:

"UK prosecutions for hacking appear to be be dropping", http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/05/18/uk_hacking_prosecutions_decline/

As I posted there, presumably all the non-idiot hackers are hacking using encrypted connections to cascaded anonymous servers in way-off difficult places. (Can there be any other explanation given the increase in recent brazen hacks?)

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Flame

18 months?

This guy's behavior goes far beyond the kind of things "Anons" are being raided/arrested for. Not only is 18 months too light, but in violating the trust & privacy of others this man should not expect any privacy ever again. Crime like this deserves mandatory location tracking & some sort of internet tracking/auditing. Odds are high he will continue to be a repeat offender. Most of the commentards here feel a lengthy prison sentence is justified for Anon defacing or DDoSing a website. I wonder how they would compare this?

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Mushroom

Re: 18 months?

"Most of the commentards here feel a lengthy prison sentence is justified for Anon defacing or DDoSing a website. I wonder how they would compare this?"

I don't think most of us have argued for lengthy prison sentences for Anon defacing or DDoSing a website. There's a big difference between someone saying DoSing a site or sticking a defacement on a page is a criminal act, and you assuming that we're saying lengthy prison sentences are a necessary consequence. Prison sentences are rarely a suitable punishment. For the most part they merely harden criminals, disconnect them from friends and families thus leaving them more likely to be excluded and return to crime when released. Oh, and they cost us a fortune too. As a deterrant, long prison sentences don't normally work that well. People who commit such crimes always seem to do so thinking they wont get caught. Compensating the victims or community service are usually better. Prison is usually only good for protecting society against those that represent an ongoing threat.

How this guy compares to defacing a website in Bahrain or similar? MUCH worse. For a start, he's ripping off people to make money. Anonymous protests are often about raising awareness of important issues (e.g. Scientology, gross human rights abuses in Bahrain). Sure, Anonymous do the less supportable things like many of Anonymous are pro-piracy which I think is an unsupportable position. But it's a completely different order of thing and it's downright odd for you to argue that the commentators here all think 18 months for DDoSing a website is a good idea. Criticising, e.g. piracy, is not the same as advocating extreme, life-changing punishments.

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Meh

@h4m0ny

I agree, but you don't seem to notice that my comment was loaded with sarcasm. That said, there have been several comments towards anon-related news which imply nothing is to harsh a punishment. Of course these are often severely downvoted very quickly.

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Re: @h4m0ny

"I agree, but you don't seem to notice that my comment was loaded with sarcasm"

Sorry. Round here, it's sometimes difficult to distinguish the sarcasm from some of the depressingly sincere comments that are posted. Your name noted for future sarcasm liklihood!

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Anonymous Coward

This is a problem

People like this are preditors and they hurt many people. They should spend a minimum of 10 years in prison for mass identity theft and other crimes. It will take most people who are injured from this criminal 5+ years to sort out their compromised credit rating and other issues - if it can actually be resolved at all.

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Re: This is a problem

Hmmm. I wish I'd read your comment before I posted mine above. I look like a doofus now, don't I?

The guy is a low-life who should be punished and as much as currently possible, made to recompense society. Spending the next decade in prison though, wouldn't discourage others any more than spending two years in prison would and would only produce someone who was accustomed to living in prison rather than free, at great cost to the taxpayer.

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Silver badge

Sadly.

"The student was convicted last November but his sentence was deferred in order to allow Martin to complete a university computer course. "

Sadly, the odds are that the people who made the decision to defer his sentence were almost certainly not the same people who had to cope with the consequences of his criminal actions.

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Re: Sadly.

Agreed why was this little toerag skiddie allowed to complete a computer course anyway. He was obviously not using anything he learnt for good.

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Unhappy

Re: Sadly.

"Sadly, the odds are that the people who made the decision to defer his sentence were almost certainly not the same people who had to cope with the consequences of his criminal actions."

The sort of right-on PC morons who run whats laughingly called the UK legal system don't even live on the same planet as everyone else so its hardly surprising. When crime eventually makes its way to Planet Liberal Idiot then perhaps we'll get sensible sentences. Until then I won't hold my breath...

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youth offenders

Specialist running YOI's have commented that sentences less that two years are meaningless as the kids are not inside long enough to change their ways. And we are talking about first time offenders and children at that.

Putting him in a real prison for what will probably be just over eight months is waste of our (taxpayers) money. I thought we had laws about proceeds of crime and withholding keys that could be used? Why can't they lock this guy up (contempt of court) until he hands over the offshore account details?

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WTF?

Re: youth offenders

"And we are talking about first time offenders and children at that."

Since when is a 20 year old a child??

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FAIL

So, when he gets out of prison

He's rich ?

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Anonymous Coward

Tarred and feathered would be too good

How they can allow crims like this to skate is beyond me.

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Mushroom

And when he gets out in 18 months or less

He can just nick over to Costa Rica where an untouchable fat bank account is waiting for him.

This is where you need an international vigilante squad to go over there and take him out the moment he shows up there.

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Anonymous Coward

Boom!

Headshot...

AC/DC

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FAIL

Why not just buy the equipment from the money he made and make the risk of getting caught a lot less?

I bet the uni had a bunch of horrific Dells anyway.

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Windows

Good to see John Leyden is maintaining his usual high standards

"He caused hundreds of pounds of damages in criminal damages"

"...which following earlier guilty pleas on the specimen charges."

Does this guy go around continually screwing up his face and making a groaning noise all the time from the sheer effort of trying to comprehend the world around him?

Pictured: a gentleman in possession of greater intelligence than said hack.

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FAIL

Not booted out of uni

Surprised he wasn't booted out of Uni as soon as the conviction occurred - certainly would have been at mine.

Does rather seem he's got away with it - assuming his account in Costa Rica is nice and full...

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Trollface

I'm surprised anybody playing Call Of Duty is old enough to have a credit card

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Anonymous Coward

Valuable lessions to be learned...

...in prison.

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