A Teenage hacker who pleaded guilty to hacking into the Lloyd's of London Web site has received a lenient sentence.
The 17 year-old, who is known as 'X', attacked both Lloyd's and Railtrack in New Year's Eve attacks, using his own PC. This meant he left his digital fingerprints all over the attack, making him relatively easy to trace.
He taunted Lloyd's over its lack of security and falsely warned of cancellations, due to Year 2000 problems on the Railtrack site (something which would, given the chaos on the railways, be hard to notice if he carried out the attack today.)
At Hereford youth court the boy pleaded guilty to breaches of the Computer Misuse Act 1990. He was conditionally discharged for a year and ordered to pay £65 court costs.
The young fellow can think himself fortunate he doesn't live in Hong Kong where under fresh recommendations to combat computer crime hackers could face up to 14 years in jail.
Hong Kong's sinister sounding Security Bureau working group recommends that hacking should be brought in line with other deception offences, increasing the present maximum penalty of five years' jail and a maximum fine of $20,000 to 14 years.
The group also recommends compulsory disclosure of decryption tools or decrypted text of encoded computer records from companies involved in serious offences. ®