UK & World News

  • 28 February 2014, 8:23

Briton Charged With Hacking US Banking System

A 28-year-old British man has been charged with hacking into the US Federal Reserve computer servers and stealing sensitive personal information.

Lauri Love, of Stradishall, Suffolk, is accused of working with "other hackers around the world" to breach the systems to steal "massive quantities" of confidential data and then posting it on a public website.

They were trying to target a software programme which "contained a vulnerability" in order to break in to the servers, it is claimed.

Love, who studied at Glasgow University and has ties to the Occupy movement, could be jailed for 12 years if found guilty.

The allegations, which date from October 2012 to February 2013, were made in an indictment that was revealed in Manhattan's federal court.

US attorney Preet Bharara claimed Love was "a sophisticated hacker who broke into Federal Reserve computers, stole sensitive personal information, and made it widely available, leaving people vulnerable to malicious use of that information".

In October 2012, according to the indictment: "Love used his unauthorised access to locate and steal certain confidential information residing on the Federal Reserve servers, including the names, email addresses, and phone numbers of users of the Federal Reserve computer system.

"Love then disseminated that information publicly by posting the information to a website that previously had been hacked and that he controlled".

George Venizelos, head of the New York office of the FBI, said: "Cyber-crime knows no boundaries and justice will not stop at international borders."

The US authorities previously said he was charged with hacking into thousands of US computer systems including the US army, Nasa and other federal agencies.

He was arrested by officers from the UK's National Crime Agency under the Computer Misuse Act (CMA) in October last year and later charged by US authorities in New Jersey.

Under the CMA, individuals can be arrested for launching attacks from within the UK against computers anywhere in the world.

He and co-conspirators - believed to be in Australia and Sweden - allegedly created "back doors" into government networks, allowing them to return to get data.

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