Two UK teenagers who stole credit card details from a number of online casinos, betting companies and web hosting companies and sold them on the now defunct GhostMarket have been sentenced on Friday after having pled guilty in December last year.
The teenagers were arrested in December 2010 after the investigation by the Metropolitan Police Service’s Police Central e-Crime Unit showed that one of them had hacked into the systems of web hosting company “Punkyhosting” and taunted its employees, who were unable to prevent the breach.
The company reported the intrusion to the police, and the investigation led them to the one who went by the handle of “Colonel Root”.
After having arrested him and searched his house, the police discovered that he worked together with the other defendant, attacking the aforementioned online businesses, stealing thousands of credit card details and using some of them to access premium rate chat lines owned by the other teen – effectively, laundering the stolen money.
The investigation also revealed that the two were very active on GhostMarket, where they offered advice and posted tutorials on how to do the things they did and get away with it.
In the end, the teenager has been sentenced to a one-year suspended prison sentence and 240 hours of unpaid work for having performed an unauthorized modification of a computer, and to a six-months suspended prison sentence and 120 hours of unpaid work for encouraging crime. Luckily for him, the two prison sentences will run concurrently.
The other teenager has received two sentences of 200 hours of unpaid work and a 12-month community service for encouraging crime and possession of articles for fraud.
“Both chose to abuse their computer skills causing a considerable amount of financial loss and anxiety to a number of innocent people,” commented Detective Constable Stuart Hosking of the Police Central e-Crime Unit.
This news comes shortly after the sentencing of four other GhostMarket members – one of them the founder of the online criminal forum – in March.