Feeds

Plods-turned-gumshoes jailed for hacking operation

Snoop ring cracked

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

Two ex-policemen were jailed today for running a private detective agency that tapped phonelines and hacked computers during its investigations.

Former Met officers Jeremy Young, 40, from Ilford in Essex, and Scott Gelsthorpe, 33, from Kettering, got 27 months and 24 months respectively at Southwark Crown Court today. Their agency was part of a national network of gumshoes with police connections that saw three more former officers jailed today.

Young and Gelsthorpe started Active Investigation Services (AIS) in 1999 when Young was on sick leave from the force in Stoke Newington. The pair offered to bug cars and break into networks on behalf of clients and to steal medical records, bank details and phone records. Gelsthorpe and Young hired a US-based hacker to use Trojan attacks against their victims, who included Jimmy Choo shoe boss Tamara Mellon.

Police say AIS could have netted Young and Gelsthorpe millions, but the exact haul is still being investigated.

The racket was eventually noticed by chance by BT. The telco's own investigators filmed an AIS employee tampering with telephone lines and then contacted the Met. The police investigation into AIS then uncovered a broader abuse of police information.

John Matthews, 60, of Stafford, was a serving officer who illegally accessed the Police National Computer on AIS' behalf. He was jailed for 14 months.

Anthony Wood, 65, also from Stafford, received ten months' jailtime. Gary Flanagan, 43, of Newcastle-under-Lyme, got a three-month term. Both were former colleagues of Matthews' who were running a separate private detective agency in Stoke-on-Trent.

Gordon Bucher, 53, a private investigater from Hereford, who acted as a middle man between AIS and Matthews got two months' imprisonment.

The sentences were the result of a huge inquiry led by the Met's Anti-Corruption Command. A total of 27 people were arrested and so far 15 have been convicted.

Detective Inspector Kevin Hyland commented: "It is very disappointing when you have police officers acting in this fashion whether they are serving or ex-police officers.

"This case involved a national network of private investigators in London, Hereford and Staffordshire with police connections which is a concern." ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
NUDE SNAPS AGENCY: NSA bods love 'showing off your saucy selfies'
Swapping other people's sexts is a fringe benefit, says Snowden
Own a Cisco modem or wireless gateway? It might be owned by someone else, too
Remote code exec in HTTP server hands kit to bad guys
British data cops: We need greater powers and more money
You want data butt kicking, we need bigger boots - ICO
Crooks fling banking Trojan at Japanese smut site fans
Wait - they're doing online banking with an unpatched Windows PC?
NIST told to grow a pair and kick NSA to the curb
Lrn2crypto, oversight panel tells US govt's algorithm bods
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
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.
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.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.