Feeds

Teen accused of 'email bombing' faces retrial

Case tests UK denial of service laws

Top three mobile application threats

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
Sorry London, Europe's top tech city is Munich
New 'Atlas of ICT Activity' finds innovation isn't happening at Silicon Roundabout
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
It may be ILLEGAL to run Heartbleed health checks – IT lawyer
Do the right thing, earn up to 10 years in clink
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.