Man jailed for hacking Facebook account

16 May 2012

New Scotland Yard

Gareth Crosskey, 21 (7.05.91), of Avon Close, Sompting, Lancing, West Sussex has been jailed today, Wednesday 16 May at Southwark Crown Court for 12 months after hacking into a private Facebook account.

Crosskey was sentenced following a successful investigation by officers from the Metropolitan Police Service's Police Central e-Crime Unit.

He had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to offences under the Computer Misuse Act.

On 12 January 2011, Crosskey gained unathorised access to the Facebook account of an individual, including the private email facility.

The breach was reported to the FBI who following inquiries, traced the source of the unauthorised access to the UK.

The matter was passed to the Metropolitan Police Service's Police Central e-Crime Unit who made inquiries to trace the suspect.

On 14 July 2011 Crosskey was arrested at his home address for offences under the Computer Misuse Act 1990. Computers and other storage devices were recovered from his home and subject to analysis.

Crosskey was taken to Worthing police station where he was interviewed about the matter. He was released on bail and following his return on 29 February 2012 he was charged with the following offences:

= Section 1 Computer Misuse Act 1990 caused computer to perform function to secure unauthorised access to a program/data. Between 07/01/2011 and 14/07/2011 within the jurisdiction of the Central Criminal Court caused a computer to perform a function with intent to secure unauthorised access to a program or data relating to a client held in a computer belonging to Facebook.

= Section 3 Computer Misuse Act 1990 unauthorised acts with intent to impair operation of or prevent/hinder access to a computer. Between 07/01/2011 and 14/07/2011 within the jurisdiction of the Central Criminal Court did an unauthorised act at a time when you knew that it was unauthorised either intending by doing the act or being reckless as to whether the act would enable the operation of a computer to be impaired, access to a program or data held in a computer to be prevented or hindered, or the operation of a program or the reliability of data held in a computer to be impaired.

The PCeU are working to detect and bring before the courts those responsible for this type of offence. Today's result should act as a deterrant to any individuals thinking of participating in this type of criminal activity. By taking swift action, PCeU officers were able to quickly detain Crosskey thereby preventing further disruption to the victim.

NOTES TO EDITORS: The Police Central e-Crime Unit is a national unit created to respond to the most serious incidents of cyber crime in the UK and forms part of the government's response to cyber threats, under the National Cyber Security Programme.

The Unit is working to reduce the harm caused by organised criminals operating online and to bring those committing these offences to justice. However, everyone has a role to play in protecting their personal information and we would urge the public to exercise great care when supplying personal details online.

Comprehensive prevention advice can be found at www.getsafeonline.org. To report an offence contact Action Fraud at www.actionfraud.org.uk.