Security chief jailed for Aviva hack

Security chief jailed for Aviva hack.jpg newAn ousted director of a network security firm, who took revenge on his former company by carrying out a hack on one of its key clients – Aviva – been banged up for 18 months.
Richard Neal had been IT director of Esselar, a company he co-founded in November 2013 but following a diagreement with his co-directors left the organisation.
But obviously carrying a grudge, he decided to get his revenge by hacking into hundreds of mobile phones owned by Aviva staff and deleting all their data.
The act caused Aviva to end its £80,000-a-year contract with Esselar and, according to prosecutors, caused the company to lose £528,000 in other business as a result of the breach.
He also set-up a fake login under the name of Shane Taylor, using it to reject expenses claims of employees. He also hacked into Esselar’s Twitter account.
Neal’s actions caused so much damage that the company has subsequently rebranded itself “Mobliciti”.
During sentencing at Guildford Crown Court, Judge Neil Stewart said Neal’s actions had “damaged confidence and reputations in a way that can be far-reaching and serious”.
Prosecutor Fiona Alexander told the court: “The aim of the attack was to ridicule Esselar. There was a degree of sophisticated planning.
“The offending persisted over a period of five months. The defendant was motivated by revenge – a serious aggravating feature. There was a grave breach of trust.
“It wasn’t intended to target just Esselar but also… Aviva. Over 900 devices were wiped by the defendant’s actions,” Alexander added.
Sentencing Neal to 18 months in jail, the judge said: “You parted on terms and in circumstances that left you nursing resentment. The prosecution describes these offences as revenge; you use the expression ‘causing mischief’. What form of words you use is beside the point: it was plainly borne of your resentment.”
Neal pleaded guilty to four acts of cyber crime under the Computer Misuse Act 1990 during an earlier hearing.

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