Industry News

Man Gets Convicted for Hijacking Facebook Account

21 year-old Gareth Crosskey has been sentenced to 12 months in jail after logging into a Facebook account without authorization. The sentence, pronounced yesterday at the Southwark Crown Court in the UK, concludes an investigation started in mid-July by the Metropolitan Police Service’s Police Central e-Crime Unit.

Crosskey accessed the Facebook and the private e-mail account of a US-based individual on January 12, 2011,  according to the report issued by the Metropolitan Police. When the breach was identified, the case was reported to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which traced the source to the UK and passed it to the Metropolitan Police Service’s Police Central e-Crime Unit.

Crosskey was arrested on July 14, 2011 under the provisions of the Computer Misuse Act 1990. His computer and storage devices were seized and sent to forensic analysis. Crosskey was released on bail and returned on February 29th 2012, when he pleaded guilty to two offenses under Britain’s Computer Misuse Act.

The purpose of the breach is unknown, but the involvement of the e-Crime unit and the FBI indicate the attack had a serious impact on the victim.

“[Yesterday’s] result should act as a deterrent 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,” the police stated.

About the author


Bogdan Botezatu is living his second childhood at Bitdefender as senior e-threat analyst. When he is not documenting sophisticated strains of malware or writing removal tools, he teaches extreme sports such as surfing the web without protection or rodeo with wild Trojan horses. He believes that most things in life can be beat with strong heuristics and that antimalware research is like working for a secret agency: you need to stay focused at all times, but you get all the glory when you catch the bad guys.