Five men working at UK-based IT security reseller Quadsys confessed today to hacking into a rival's database.
Owner Paul Streeter, managing director Paul Cox, director Alistair Barnard, account manager Steve Davies and security consultant Jon Townsend appeared before the beak at Oxford Crown Court.
All five pleaded guilty to “securing unauthorised access to computer material, contrary to section 1 of the Computer Misuse Act, 1990.”
The penalty on summary conviction would be 12 months in prison, and/or a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum, or, on indictment, two years and/or an unlimited fine.
The five pleaded not guilty to a charge of “obtaining unauthorised access to computer materials with intent to commit an offence”, which will remain on file.
The Quadsys Five are due to be sentenced on 9 September.
The men were arrested in March last year and were charged in August. They were held on suspicion of "conspiracy to commit computer misuse offences; unauthorised access with intent to commit or facilitate commission of further offences; and conspiracy to enter into/be concerned in the acquisition/retention/use of controls of criminal property."
It was alleged they broke into a rival security reseller's database to plunder customer information and pricing data.
Quadsys, incorporated in 2008, flogs security software and appliances and related cloud services, including consultancy and remote health checks. It carries high-level accreditations from Intel Security and Kaspersky.
Its customers included Leeds United FC, Derry City Council, South Tyne and Wear Primary Care Trust and the ASA in the UK. ®
In an earlier version of this story, because of a court error, we reported that the five had pleaded guilty to “obtaining unauthorised access to computer materials to facilitate the commission of an offence”, and that a second charge of “obtaining unauthorised access to computer materials with intent to commit an offence” would be heard in September. We are happy to clarify that the five pleaded guilty to “securing unauthorised access to computer materials” and pleaded not guilty to the second charge of “obtaining unauthorised access to computer materials with intent to commit an offence” which will remain on file.