Feeds

Four jailed for million-pound abuse images ring

Huge newsgroup uncovered

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

Four men have been sentenced today for their parts in running a news group service used for the distribution of child abuse images.

The news service, Athenanews.com, earned the four men about £2.2m - police will be applying to the courts to seize that money.

Ian Frost, 35, and his civil partner Paul Rowland, 34, of Martin Dales, Lincolnshire got 33 months each. Ian's brother Paul Frost, 37, of Woodhouse, Sheffield, got 15 months and Ian Sambridge, 32, of St Albans, got 12 months suspended for two years.

None of the men were known to the police before the investigation began. They were highly - technical and police seized commercial servers among other hardware - see below.

newsgroup-storage

Operation Alpine began after a tip-off from German police received via CEOP.

Lincolnshire Police identified 211 suspects in the UK and 1,300 around the world.

Detective Superintendent Paul Gibson said: “The safety of children has always been our main focus throughout this investigation and the real achievement remains the protecting and safeguarding of 132 young people in Britain as a direct result of our work...Lincolnshire Police will be making an application through the courts in an attempt to seize the profits obtained as a result of their illegal enterprise. A total benefit of £2.2m was received as a result of running their news services.

“The wider investigation also identified 211 suspects in the UK and 1,300 worldwide. All of these people are suspected of buying child abuse images from the news service run by the offenders. Many have been dealt with by the police and the courts and this process is ongoing." The news service ran between 2002 and 2009 and members paid according to how much content they wished to download.

Police seized raid arrays and servers - one so large that it dimmed the lights in the room were it was switched on for forensic examination. Police looked at 1.3m emails, mostly manually, they have viewed and categorised 5.5m images and 6,000 films.

Others convicted as a result of Operation Alpine include a deputy head of Cumbrian NHS Trust, a scout leader and school governor from Devon and Cornwall, a school crossing patrol worker from Humberside and a Scottish teacher. In total 55 people have been sentenced or cautioned for child abuse image offences.

Lincolnshire Police worked with CEOP, nearly all other UK forces and SOCA and other international agencies on the case. ®

Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.