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Jailed cyber crook hacks prison's network while locked up

04 Mar 2013
HM Prison sign

The jailed founder of the infamous online card fraud forum GhostMarket.net hacked into a prison computer network while incarcerate, the UK Prison Service has revealed.

The service told V3 that Nicholas Webber broke into the networks at HM Prison Isis Category C male Young Offenders Institution, in South East London.

Webber is believed to have attacked the network in 2011, while attending an IT class hosted in the prison.

A Prison Service representative said that despite gaining access to the prison system, Webber was not able to access the wider web, the reducing the harm he could do.

"At the time of this incident in 2011 the educational computer system at HMP Isis was a closed network. No access to personal information or wider access to the internet or other prison systems would have been possible," they told V3.

Prior to his arrest Webber is known to have run and sold stolen credit card details on the GhostMarket.net site.

At its height, the site is believed to have had 8,500 members and its users were responsible for the theft of up to £8m from over 65,000 bank accounts.

Webber was sentenced to five years in May 2011 for his involvement with GhostMarket.

How Webber managed to get approval to attend the class is currently unknown. Widespread reports claim that the teacher managing the class was dismissed for letting Webber attend.

The reports claim the teacher has claimed unfair dismissal, arguing that he did not choose to admit Webber to the class and was never made aware of the youth's criminal record.

The Prison Service declined V3's request for clarity on the issue.

Webber is one of many cyber criminals to gain access to a computer after being arrested.

Ryan Cleary, who was charged over his involvement in computer attacks by the LulzSec group was sent back to jail after breaking the terms of his bail by illegally accessing the internet and making contact with the group's leader Sabu midway through 2012.

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Alastair Stevenson
About

Alastair has worked as a reporter covering security and mobile issues at V3 since March 2012. Before entering the field of journalism Alastair had worked in numerous industries as both a freelance copy writer and artist.

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