Feeds

Personal data warning over web forum killing

German murderer used Facebook to feed obsession

Website security in corporate America

Police have warned against posting too much personal information on the internet, after a German man was today sentenced to life imprisonment for murdering a British computing student he met online.

David Heiss, 21, from Dauborn, near Limburg, developed an obsession with his victim's girlfriend, and used information the couple had posted online to plan his attack in September last year.

"David Heiss was very clever on the internet, and he learned a lot of information about Joanna Witton and Matthew Pyke and others," the BBC reports Detective Chief Inspector Tony Heydon of Nottinghamshire Police as saying.

Matthew Pyke, 20, died of 86 stab wounds in the flat he shared with his girlfriend, Joanna Witton.

"One of the things that's important here is that people need to realise that on their computers there is a lot of personal information that other people can gather. We know that Heiss found out a lot of information about where they lived and where they worked and all sorts of things about their social network that perhaps now with hindsight they wouldn't want him to know," Heydon said.

The killer travelled from Frankfurt to the Nottingham home of 20-year-old Pyke and Witton to carry out a brutal knife attack. The couple met Heiss online via Warcentral.com, a forum devoted to the Nintendo DS game Advanced Wars, which they ran together.

The court heard how Heiss became infatuated with Witton and obsessively visited her Facebook profile. In June last year he turned up at the couple's flat demanding to see her. After he was rebuffed, he spent almost a month in the UK stalking Witton before returning to Germany.

Heiss, who used the name "Eagle The Lightening" online, then returned to Nottingham that August, but was again rebuffed.

His final, murderous September visit was prompted when his increasingly threatening postings drew a ban from Warcentral.com. During the trial, Witton told court: "People throw threats across the internet all the time, you don't take them seriously."

Sentencing Heiss today, Mr Justice Keith said: "The fact that your motive for murder was so bizarre doesn't make your killing of Matthew any the less serious." He ordered that Heiss should serve at least 18 years. ®

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

More from The Register

next story
'Kim Kardashian snaps naked selfies with a BLACKBERRY'. *Twitterati gasps*
More alleged private, nude celeb pics appear online
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
UK.gov lobs another fistful of change at SME infosec nightmares
Senior Lib Dem in 'trying to be relevant' shocker. It's only taxpayers' money, after all
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
TOR users become FBI's No.1 hacking target after legal power grab
Be afeared, me hearties, these scoundrels be spying our signals
Snowden, Dotcom, throw bombs into NZ election campaign
Claim of tapped undersea cable refuted by Kiwi PM as Kim claims extradition plot
Freenode IRC users told to change passwords after securo-breach
Miscreants probably got in, you guys know the drill by now
THREE QUARTERS of Android mobes open to web page spy bug
Metasploit module gobbles KitKat SOP slop
BitTorrent's peer-to-peer chat app Bleep goes live as public alpha
A good day for privacy as invisble.im also reveals its approach to untraceable chats
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.