Feeds

Teen accused of 'email bombing' faces retrial

Case tests UK denial of service laws

Intelligent flash storage arrays

A teenager accused of crashing the email server of his former employer with millions of junk mail messages, is to face retrial.

David Lennon, 18, allegedly used a bulk mailing package called Avalanche to bombard the email servers of his former employers Domestic and General Group with approximately five million emails in early 2004, shortly after his dismissal by the firm.

He was charged with unauthorised data modification (section three) offences under the UK's Computer Misuse Act 1990 (CMA), but the case against him was rejected when it went to trial last November after a judge ruled that since D&G's email servers were set up to receive email, even the act of bombarding them with numerous junk emails did not constitute an offence.

This decision was reversed at the Court of Appeal on Thursday. Senior judges ruled that District Judge Kenneth Grant erred in deciding Lennon did not have a case to answer, following an appeal by the Crown Prosecution Service.

District Judge Kenneth Grant ruled that although D&G had established email servers to receive email, consent did not extend to email deliberately sent to disrupt their operation rather than for the purposes of genuine communication.

The case, which highlights flaws in the aging CMA, particularly related to laws on denial of service attacks, has been sent back to the Magistrates' Court for retrial. If convicted, Lennon faces a sentence of up to five years imprisonment and a fine.

Backbench MPs with an interest in technology have campaigned for UK hacker law to be updated for some time. After a number of failed private members bills, the cause has been adopted by government. The new Police and Justice Bill includes provisions to specifically outlaw denial of service attacks as well as establishing increased penalties for hacking offences. The bill could become law by autumn. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Musicians sue UK.gov over 'zero pay' copyright fix
Everyone else in Europe compensates us - why can't you?
Megaupload overlord Kim Dotcom: The US HAS RADICALISED ME!
Now my lawyers have bailed 'cos I'm 'OFFICIALLY' BROKE
MI6 oversight report on Lee Rigby murder: US web giants offer 'safe haven for TERRORISM'
PM urged to 'prioritise issue' after Facebook hindsight find
BT said to have pulled patent-infringing boxes from DSL network
Take your license demand and stick it in your ASSIA
Right to be forgotten should apply to Google.com too: EU
And hey - no need to tell the website you've de-listed. That'll make it easier ...
prev story

Whitepapers

10 ways wire data helps conquer IT complexity
IT teams can automatically detect problems across the IT environment, spot data theft, select unique pieces of transaction payloads to send to a data source, and more.
The total economic impact of Druva inSync
Examining the ROI enterprises may realize by implementing inSync, as they look to improve backup and recovery of endpoint data in a cost-effective manner.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.