Cyber-criminal ordered to pay cash after admitting stealing passwords to commit fraud

Wed 30th, Nov

A man who harvested thousands of usernames and passwords in order to commit fraud online has been sentenced after pleading guilty to a series of cyber offences at Chelmsford Crown Court.

Cyber-criminal ordered to pay back profits of crime after admitting stealing passwords to commit fraud

A man who harvested thousands of usernames and passwords in order to commit fraud online has been sentenced after pleading guilty to a series of cyber offences at Chelmsford Crown Court.

Leon Street, 28, of Latchingdon Gardens, Woodford Green, Essex, was made subject of a confiscation order yesterday (Wednesday) to the tune of almost £9,000 after admitting charges relating to computer misuse, fraud and money laundering. He was also handed a prison sentence of 18 months suspended for two years, 200 hours community service and ordered to attend a rehabilitation course, as well as paying back the profits of his criminality.

Over three years from 2011 to 2014, Street made use of illicit computer software to collate private information from victims’ computers. He was arrested by the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit (ERSOU) Cyber Crime Unit in May 2014, at which time he had in his possession 2,133 passwords and usernames, for use in connection with a fraud.
Street also supplied ‘stressor’ or ‘booter’ tools in order to allow others to carry out Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, believing that they were likely to assist in committing offences. Such tools can be used to steal information as well restrict or stop the functions of websites.
He was also found to have made criminal gains worth £8,829.32 from the funds generated by selling the ‘booters’, and attempted to launder the proceeds paid into his numerous online transaction accounts under various false identities.

Street came to the attention of ERSOU cyber investigators as part of an international investigation initiated by the American FBI, which focused on the criminal use of booter and stressor tools and involved close working with online payments company PayPal.

Detective Inspector Martin Peters from the Regional Cyber Crime Unit said: “The impact on cyber criminality by the use of so-called stressor tool and booters cannot be underestimated.

“This case involved an individual that used, sold and advised others regarding distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks, and stole personal data from users on the internet.

“DDOS attacks restrict internet traffic by bombarding websites or people’s internet addresses and stops their service, which can not only stop companies trading but also distract business and individuals whilst they are subjected to other crimes, such as data theft. The stolen data is then used to commit fraud may even be sold on, so people very often fall victim to multiple offences.

“Today’s sentence should send a message to cyber criminals that their illegal activities leave a footprint online, and that they will be brought to justice for the distress and violation caused to so many victims.”


For advice on cyber crime and how to protect yourself against attack, visit the ERSOU website at www.ersourocu.org.uk.