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UK hacker linked to cyberattacks on Netflix, Pornhub and Amazon escape jail time

Written by  Dec 18, 2017

At Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court on Tuesday (19 December), Chappell, a student, was handed a total of 16 months detention, suspended for two years.

In July, the hacker admitted links to DDoS attacks on the websites of Natwest, O2, T-Mobile, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Vodafone, Verizon, the BBC and the National Crime Agency (NCA).

He was charged following an investigation spearheaded by the West Midlands Regional Cyber Crime Unit, which was assisted by Israeli Police, the FBI and Europol's European Cybercrime Centre.

DDoS attacks crash websites by flooding them with huge waves of data. None of the cyberattacks Chappell was responsible for led to the theft or loss of any customer data, police said.

He previously pleaded guilty to unauthorised acts with intent to impair, or being reckless as to impairing, the operation of computers, between 1 May 2015 and 30 April 2016.

In addition, Chappell admitted one count of conspiring with Israeli citizen Yarden Bidani to do unauthorised acts with intent to impair the operation of computers, including DDoS attacks on a slew of targeted websites, reportedly including Virgin Media and Pornhub.

A separate count was linked to money laundering, over the monitoring of card payments to vDos which could "facilitate the acquisition, retention, use or control of criminal property."

Chappell pleaded guilty last year to a separate case of "unauthorised acts with intent to impair operation of or prevent access to a computer" between 3 December 2015 and 14 April 2016.

He was charged under the UK's Computer Misuse Act.

In September 2016, the Times of Israel reported that Bidani, 18-years-old at the time, had been arrested alongside another suspect called Itay Huri, the same age, following an FBI tip off. The pair reportedly co-founded the criminal enterprise, which Chappell helped administer.

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