Welsh hacker pleads guilty to deception and theft
Credit card cracker Curador faces chokey
A teenage computer cracker, who's efforts sparked a worldwide manhunt and brought FBI investigators to a sleepy Welsh village, faces a possible jail sentence after pleading guilty to deception and theft.
Raphael Gray, who's handle was Curador (or Custodian in Welsh), claimed he hacked into sites and gained access to customer databases in order to expose lax security.
The 19 year-old published a roll of shame of ecommerce firms he had broken into on the Internet and also posted what purported to be credit card details for Bill Gates (although the latter claim was subsequently debunked). His Web sites also offered free credit card details.
Gray's activities brought him to the attention of the FBI and, amid fears details of 26,000 credit cards had been compromised, his house in Clynderwen in west Wales was raided in March last year and computer equipment (believed to include a Sony Vaio) seized.
In a hearing at Swansea Crown Court, prosecutor Leighton Davis said Gray had used his PC to hack into the Web sites of ecommerce firms in the US, Canada, Thailand and Britain. These included dotcoms such as Nettrading and Salesgate, as well as the American Society of Clinical pathologists.
Gray has admitted two charges of obtaining services by deception and offences under the Theft Act in setting up two Internet sites (ecrackers.com and freecreditcards.com) on which credit card information was published.
He also pleaded guilty to six charges of intentionally accessing sites containing credit card details, but without using this information for financial gain. Sentencing was postponed and Gray was released on bail. ®