UK Man Admits Stealing Satellite Data

Monday, June 19, 2017 @ 04:06 PM gHale


A man from Sutton Coldfield, UK, pleaded guilty Thursday to stealing user accounts from a U.S. military communications system, officials said.

Sean Caffrey, 25, admitted in court to accessing and stealing information pertaining to 800 users of a satellite communications system, including ranks, usernames and email addresses, said officials at the UK National Crime Agency (NCA).

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In addition, he purloined information associated with 30,000 satellite phones, the NCA said.

Caffrey pleaded guilty on Thursday at Birmingham Crown Court to an offense under the Computer Misuse Act: “Causing a computer to perform a function to secure unauthorized access to a program or data.”

Shortly after the hack, Caffrey posted a message online apparently condemning Lizard Squad, a known group of hackers previously associated with attacks on Microsoft and Sony and with various distributed denial of service incidents.

The hacker stole said data from the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) on June 15, 2014, but was arrested only in March 2015, after “intelligence showed the hack originated from his Internet connection.” Officers from the NCA’s National Cyber Crime Unit (NCCU) and West Midlands Police made the arrest.

During forensic analysis of Caffrey’s computer, NCA officers found the stolen data on the hard drives, and also discovered the PC was used to open and operate under a pseudonym an online messaging account linked to the attack.

“After strong partnership working between the NCA, the FBI and the DoD’s Defense Criminal Investigative Service there was very clear, very compelling evidence against Sean Caffrey. The NCA has people with skills like Caffrey’s, but they’re doing the opposite to him in detecting cyber criminals and bringing them to justice,” said Janey Young, investigations manager at the NCA.

The financial damages incurred by the hack came to $628,000, the DoD said. Caffrey faces sentencing August 14.



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