Two U.K. teenage hackers who broke into the accounts of online companies to steal customers’ credit card details were sentenced last Friday for abusing their computer skills, according to Metropolitan Police Service’s Police Central e-Crime Unit.
Zachary Woodham, 19, and Louis Tobenhouse, 18, both from Brighton, hacked into web-hosting company Punkyhosting and when the company detected the intrusion, it made attempts to prevent it. In response, Woodham, who was using the alias Colonel Root, attacked the company over a number of weeks, causing it to stop trading.
The incident was reported to police and Woodham was soon identified as Colonel Root. After a search of his house, investigators uncovered the extent of his online criminal activity and identified Tobenhouse’s involvement.
Authorities said the pair had targeted online casinos/betting companies as well as other web-hosting businesses. An examination of the suspects’ computers led to the discovery of thousands of credit cards details, some of which Woodham used to pay for access to premium-rate chatlines which he owned, thereby laundering the money he then paid into his own accounts.
The teenagers were also found to be active participants of the online criminal forum Ghostmarket. Woodham and Tobenhouse posted tutorials on the website advising how to hack into company websites, commit fraud and evade police capture.
Woodham received a sentence of 18 months imprisonment that will be suspended in two years, and his accomplice was sentenced to 200 hours of unpaid work.
Both were arrested and charged Dec. 23, 2010. Commenting on his arrest, Tobenhouse said, “I will never get a job in IT now.”