21-year-old gets 12 months for hacking Facebook account

Summary:After pleading guilty to breaching the the UK's Computer Misuse Act 1990 on two counts, a UK man has been sentenced to a year in prison for hacking into an American's Facebook account last year.

21-year-old Gareth Crosskey of the U.K. has been sentenced to 12 months in jail for illegally accessing a Facebook account belonging to an unidentified individual in the U.S. The Brit was accused of hacking into the American's Facebook account on January 12, 2011. The nature of the relationship between the two is unknown.

After being contacted by the victim, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) began looking into the case last year. The FBI traced the source of the hack to the U.K., where the inquiry had to leave American hands. U.S. agents thus contacted Scotland Yard to take over, and the Metropolitan Police Central e-crime Unit (PCeU) tracked down the suspect.

Crosskey was arrested in July 2011 at his home, where authorities also seized computers and storage devices. After being released on bail on February 29, 2012, he was charged with two offenses under the UK's Computer Misuse Act 1990. He was convicted on Wednesday and will now serve a year in prison. He pled guilty to both counts: using a computer to gain unauthorised access to a program/data as well as performing unauthorised acts with intent to impair operation of, or prevent/hinder access to, a computer.

"The PCeU are working to detect and bring before the courts those responsible for this type of offence. Today's result should act as a deterrant to any individuals thinking of participating in this type of criminal activity," a PCeU spokesperson said in a statement. "By taking swift action, PCeU officers were able to quickly detain Crosskey thereby preventing further disruption to the victim."

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Topics: Security, Government, Government : US, Hardware, Social Enterprise

About

Emil is a freelance journalist writing for CNET and ZDNet. Over the years, he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, including Ars Technica, Neowin, and TechSpot.

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