Feeds

Teen accused of 'email bombing' faces retrial

Case tests UK denial of service laws

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

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. ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.