Brighton perv cops community service for 'hacking' women's Facebook accounts

Guilty plea to Computer Misuse Act crimes


A man who hacked women's Facebook accounts to steal their intimate images has been ordered to carry out 200 hours' unpaid work after admitting three criminal charges under the Computer Misuse Act.

The Worthing Herald reported that Kieren Kennedy, of Montpelier Place in Brighton, "caused a very significant level of distress" to three women in Worthing.

Prosecutor Francesca Baynham said: "[Kennedy] disclosed that he had obtained certain photographs of [women] and the nature of those photographs were of these women in a state of undress. He disclosed to his friend that he was able to obtain these images by accessing Facebook accounts."

His crimes were committed in January 2018, Worthing Magistrates' Court heard. Kennedy had no previous convictions.

He was sentenced on Friday to 200 hours' community service, ordered to pay £600 compensation and £85 in court costs, as well as being hit with an £85 victim surcharge tax. He is now the subject of a sexual harm prevention order (SHPO) for the next five years and must attend the Horizon sex offenders' rehab programme.

A leaflet (PDF) published by the Prison Reform Trust gives more information on SHPOs and the Horizon programme.

Another day, another conviction

Although public reporting gives very few details of whatever "hacking" Kennedy carried out to access his victims' social media accounts, the use of the Computer Misuse Act (CMA) to prosecute him marks how the Act is increasingly being deployed by prosecutors.

Last year the Information Commissioner's Office used the CMA to convict a car repairman who illegally took customer details with him when he changed job. Also last year, a Santander bank manager pleaded guilty after being caught passing customers' details to her boyfriend for him to carry out financial frauds.

More recently, a London police worker was found guilty under the CMA of illegally monitoring an internal police investigation into his own misconduct – though he remained employed by the Metropolitan Police.

Prison is generally unlikely for someone convicted of a CMA offence, as a recent analysis by The Register showed.

NCC Group and other UK infosec companies have started a campaign to reform the CMA in order to draw a clearer line between black-hat hackers, be they like Kennedy above or like Talktalk hacker teen Elliott Gunton, and responsible information security practices by industry actors. ®

Narrower topics


Other stories you might like

  • DuckDuckGo tries to explain why its browsers won't block Microsoft ad-tracker code
    Meanwhile, Tails 5.0 users told to stop what they're doing over Firefox flaw

    DuckDuckGo promises privacy to users of its Android, iOS browsers, and macOS browsers – yet it allows certain data to flow from third-party websites to Microsoft-owned services.

    Security researcher Zach Edwards recently conducted an audit of DuckDuckGo's mobile browsers and found that, contrary to expectations, they do not block Meta's Workplace domain, for example, from sending information to Microsoft's Bing and LinkedIn domains.

    Specifically, DuckDuckGo's software didn't stop Microsoft's trackers on the Workplace page from blabbing information about the user to Bing and LinkedIn for tailored advertising purposes. Other trackers, such as Google's, are blocked.

    Continue reading
  • Despite 'key' partnership with AWS, Meta taps up Microsoft Azure for AI work
    Someone got Zuck'd

    Meta’s AI business unit set up shop in Microsoft Azure this week and announced a strategic partnership it says will advance PyTorch development on the public cloud.

    The deal [PDF] will see Mark Zuckerberg’s umbrella company deploy machine-learning workloads on thousands of Nvidia GPUs running in Azure. While a win for Microsoft, the partnership calls in to question just how strong Meta’s commitment to Amazon Web Services (AWS) really is.

    Back in those long-gone days of December, Meta named AWS as its “key long-term strategic cloud provider." As part of that, Meta promised that if it bought any companies that used AWS, it would continue to support their use of Amazon's cloud, rather than force them off into its own private datacenters. The pact also included a vow to expand Meta’s consumption of Amazon’s cloud-based compute, storage, database, and security services.

    Continue reading
  • Atos pushes out HPC cloud services based on Nimbix tech
    Moore's Law got you down? Throw everything at the problem! Quantum, AI, cloud...

    IT services biz Atos has introduced a suite of cloud-based high-performance computing (HPC) services, based around technology gained from its purchase of cloud provider Nimbix last year.

    The Nimbix Supercomputing Suite is described by Atos as a set of flexible and secure HPC solutions available as a service. It includes access to HPC, AI, and quantum computing resources, according to the services company.

    In addition to the existing Nimbix HPC products, the updated portfolio includes a new federated supercomputing-as-a-service platform and a dedicated bare-metal service based on Atos BullSequana supercomputer hardware.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022