Cybercrime discovered while investigating a real-world robbery
Lewys Martin, a 20-year-old from Deal in Kent, has received an 18-month jail sentence for stealing computer equipment and using malware to obtain credit card details.
Martin had infected computers through a Trojan horse disguised as a patch for Call Of Duty, one of the most popular video games ever made.
Local police accidentally discovered the illegal operation last year, while investigating a burglary, reports Kent Online.
Crime doesn’t pay
Martin used a keylogger to extract bank details, credit card numbers and passwords, before selling them online for between $1 and $5 at a time. He kept the money in an account in Costa Rica, which to this day refuses to co-operate with British authorities. As a result, the real extent of the crimes is unknown.
Martin was caught after he broke into colleges in Dover and Deal to steal computer equipment. Police officers who raided his home were surprised to discover sets of A4 print-outs of more than 300 credit card details and passwords. They also found details of a £3,000 bank loan in a fake name.
Martin appeared at Canterbury Crown Court last November, but the sentencing was deferred, ironically, to allow him to attend an IT course at university in Canterbury.
However, the unfortunate hacker didn’t mend his ways. In March, while on bail, he and an accomplice were caught smashing their way into the Walmer Science College in Deal, causing £300 of damage before attempting to steal a projector, computer, hard drive, walkie-talkies and other hardware.
“You never kept your promises,” said the judge before sentencing Martin to 18 months in prison for three burglary and fraud charges.
“Game players would be wise to pay attention to the technique used by Lewys Martin to infect computers. It’s not uncommon for malware to be distributed in the form of cracks and hacks for popular computer games – if you run unknown code on your computer to meddle with a video game, you might well be allowing malware to insidiously install itself too,” warned Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos.
A major international police operation that involved the UK’s Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) recently closed 36 websites selling personal information and credit card details, much like the one Martin had used.
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