Hacker sentenced for US Department of Defense data theft

14 September 2017

Sean Caffrey, 25, of Sutton Coldfield, was today given an 18-month suspended prison sentence and had his computer equipment confiscated by a judge at Birmingham Crown Court.

He had admitted accessing and stealing the ranks, usernames and email addresses of more than 800 users of a satellite communications system, as well as of about 30,000 satellite phones.

The 18 month term, the maximum sentence, was suspended for 18 months by His Honour Patrick Thomas QC due to recommendations in Caffrey’s medical report.

Tony Adams, head of investigations at the NCA's National Cyber Crime Unit, said: “Caffrey attacked a government computer system, which is a very serious crime.

“He was given the maximum sentence under the guidelines. Others should take note that hacking like this is taken seriously and offenders will be found and brought before the courts.

“This case was the result of strong partnership working between the NCA, the FBI and the DoD’s Defense Criminal Investigative Service.”

Danny Kennedy, acting assistant director for the FBI’s LA field office, said: “The case involving Mr. Caffrey is a perfect example of international cooperation between the NCA, the DCIS, the FBI and others to identify and impede a serious threat to national security, which incurred significant damage.

“As the threat posed by cyber criminals continues to grow, the FBI will continue to strengthen these partnerships.”

 

Hacker admits attack on US Department of Defense

15 June 2017

A computer hacker has admitted stealing hundreds of user accounts from a US military communications system.

Sean Caffrey, 25, of Sutton Coldfield, accessed and stole the ranks, usernames and email addresses of more than 800 users of a satellite communications system, as well as of about 30,000 satellite phones.

He pleaded guilty at Birmingham Crown Court today to an offence under the Computer Misuse Act. The theft from the US Department of Defense (DoD) took place on 15 June 2014. Officers from the NCA’s National Cyber Crime Unit (NCCU) and West Midlands Police arrested Caffrey in March 2015 after intelligence showed the hack originated from his internet connection.

Forensic examination

Forensic examination of his computers by NCA officers found the stolen data on the hard drives.

NCA officers also found that an online messaging account linked to the attack had been opened and operated under a pseudonym using Caffrey’s computers.

The DoD said it cost approximately $628,000 to fix the damage caused by the hacker’s intrusion.

Compelling evidence

Janey Young, investigations manager at the NCA, said: “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.

“No one should think that cyber crime is victimless or that they can get away with it.

“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.

“We’re working to keep the internet a safe space for people who use it legitimately.”

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