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Hacker jailed after Vodafone SMS sting

Three months' bird for revenge attack on ex-employer

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Internet Security Threat Report 2014

A spurned computer buff was jailed last week after he hacked in to Vodafone's messaging network to get revenge on his former employer. Scott Reid fooled thousands of mobile phone users into calling his former company's switchboard after telling them they had won a car. Switchboards were jammed for days and the company lost around £10,000 of business, Nottingham Crown Court heard last week. The 23-year-old hacked into the Vodafone short messaging network and sent a text message to international subscribers. Around 32,000 unsuspecting punters were told that they had won a Peugeot 106 and had to call a certain number to claim it, according to Saturday's Daily Telegraph. The number given belonged to Nottingham company GS (UK), which supplies software to the embroidery industry and employed Reid from the tender age of 16. Michael Fowler, prosecuting, said: "The switchboard was swamped to such an extent that British Telecom had to filter calls for three days." Reid had designed GS (UK)'s Web page and email system, but was found working on a rival computer programme to the one sold by his employers. He was discovered and made to stop the project. He resigned last year and started plotting his revenge, which included setting loose a Trojan Horse virus to businesses in the embroidery industry. Reid admitted to two charges of unlawful modification of computer material and two of unauthorised access to a PC. He was sentenced to three months and had his computer confiscated. Judge Christopher Pichers told Reid: "These are not student pranks. This is deliberate industrial espionage with the potential to cause serious damage to a business computer." ®

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