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Dubai hacker loses appeal

Double jeopardy for 22-year old Brit

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The appeal of a 22 year-old Briton against his hacking sentence has backfired. A court in Dubai has not only upheld his conviction, but also found him guilty of a charge that was dismissed at his original trial.

Lee Alan Ashurst, from Oldham near Manchester, was found guilty of opening the private emails destined for staff of ISP Etisalat as well as "misusing the services" of the Arab ISP in a judgement before the Dubai Appeal Court, according to a report by Arab news service Zawya.com.

The ruling confirmed the fine of 10,000 Dirhams (£1,850) against Ashurst on the hacking charge and added a conviction for opening the private emails of Etisalat staffers, which a lower court dismissed on legal grounds during a trial in July.

The case prompted the UAE to introduce legislation against hacking.

In a separate civil case, Etisalat (the United Arab Emirates sole ISP) is suing Ashurst for 2,835,000 Dirhams (£524,000) in damages, which it claims to have incurred due to Ashurst's hacking activity.

Etisalat claims that Ashurst scanned its network and discovered security gaps which he was able to exploit and recover password files. He was then able to gain unauthorised access to its network, according to Etisalat, which alleges Ashurst was the source of "extensive disruption to its service".

Zawya.com reports that a forensic examination of Ashurst's laptop found 'John the Ripper' and 'Saint', security tools which though not in themselves illegal, cast suspicion on Ashurst because they can be used by hackers. ®

External Links

Dubai court finds hacker guilty on two charges
BBC story of Ashurst's trail which features a picture of the 22 year-old

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