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Web Designer Commits Hacking but Escapes Jail

Mark Hopkins, the boss of an English Web designing company, has given a jail sentence that, however, stands suspended. The 31-year old culprit from Broomsgrave in the West Midlands had pleaded guilty in July 2007 to illegal hacking into the Website of a competitor. Such offences violate Section One of Computer Misuse Act.

Hopkins was sentenced to five months jail from August 2007 to January 2007. But court suspended it for two years. During the hearing of a sentence on August 9, 2007, it ordered Hopkins to perform community service for 100 hours. He was also asked to pay compensation of £5,000 to ME Publishing Limited, his victim, who published Motorcycle Trader. He is also ordered to pay 2,500 pounds as police and prosecution expenses.

The sentencing represents another instance of the joint efforts of the industry and police to deal with committers of e-crime, said DC mark Roberts of the Met Police computer crime unit. Theregister published this in news on August 10, 2007.

The case started two years back in September '05 when a web consultancy firm informed its client, ME Publishing Limited, and its site, www.motorcycletrader.net, that there was an unauthorized intrusion into the Website from where the hacker had downloaded the company's confidential information.

The Website on Motorcycle Trader and other sites that ME Publishing and its affiliate firm Redcat Marketing Services operated was taken down for many days. During this time, the Web consultants identified the hacker and assessed the hacking damage.

The consultants who advised ME Publishing found out that the attack shot from a computer in NXGN Limited's offices based in Solihull. When the Metropolitan Police launched an enquiry, they suspected Hopkins and arrested him. NXGN is the supplier of Web services to firms like Motorcycle News, Yamaha, Suzuki, British Dealer News, Fish4Bikes, and Triumph.

First when NXGN denied committing the hack into the Website of Motorcycle Trader, the Web consultants reported to the Metropolitan Police who conducted a probe to charge NXGN MD, Mark Hopkins. Hopkins also denied the hack and pleaded not guilty in court, which he reversed later.

Related article: Web Browsers Too Have Security Exploits

» SPAMfighter News - 23-08-2007

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