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Sunday, 20 December 2015

A YOUNG BOY IN COURT CHARGED WITH CYBER-ATTACKS

A young boy has appeared in court charged with carrying out cyber-attacks on websites across the world (This includes, Asia Africa, Europe and other parts of the world) he was also charged with sending bomb hoaxes to US airlines.

The boy, aged 14 and 15 when the alleged offences took place, sat with his parents at Plymouth youth court in Devon for a brief first appearance.

He denied three charges under section three of the Computer Misuse Act relating to alleged distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks on websites in Europe, North America, Africa and Asia. DDoS attacks involve overwhelming a website with traffic, often taking it offline.

He also denied two offences under section 51 of the Criminal Law Act concerning bomb hoaxes allegedly made to airlines in North America via social media.

The alleged cyber-attacks are said to have taken place between October 2014 and January 2015. It is claimed the bomb hoaxes were made in February 2015. The boy, who cannot be named, is now 16.

His lawyer, Kenneth Papenfus, requested an adjournment, saying: “This is a complex case.” He said he would need the help of a computer expert and told the court: “I don’t understand the statements served on me. I need expert intervention to decipher the statements served on me.”


The boy, dressed in an open white shirt and black trousers, replied “yes, sir” when asked if he understood what was happening.

He was granted unconditional bail and has been excused a case management hearing scheduled for 29 January next year at the same court.

We recently witnessed several cyber-attacks accusing young boys. For example, a recently cyber-attacks on telecommunication company (Talk Talk) a 15 years old (school boy) was arrested on 26 October this year accused to be  responsible for the attack against TalkTalk.

 It speaks volumes of the failure of our industry and profession that while we focus on nation state attackers, organised criminal gangs, and the latest zero-day vulnerabilities, our security defences are regularly breached by school children.

We really need to re-assess what we do as professionals and vendors to secure our networks.



There was also media coverage of experts citing the attack was the result of Russian Cyber Jihadists based on a posting on the Pastebin site. Thomas Fox Brewster from Forbes uses this to highlight the fallacy of many expert analyses in the wake of cyber-attacks.