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David Trail, 26, of Edinburgh, Scotland, will have to pay £17,000 ($22,700) as compensation and will serve 200 hours of unpaid work for selling drugs on the Dark Web and hacking his former employer.
Trail was the administrator of the Topix2 website, a Dark Web portal accessible only through the Tor network, where he sold various types of drugs.
An FBI investigation uncovered Trail’s identity
Trail’s activity came to light in 2014, when the FBI informed the German police of a series of servers that were being used to host Dark Web portals from where various individuals were selling narcotics.
The German police linked the Topix2 portal to a location in Edinburgh and informed the Scottish authorities, who, on November 6, 2014, obtained a warrant and raided Trail’s home.
Police found diazepam, an illegal prescription drug, along with other evidence that connected him to the Topix2 portal, according to Scottish Legal News.
Furthermore, the Scottish authorities also noted that Trail’s computer featured a very sophisticated operating system and the suspect also used a blank keyboard, customized by Trail so only he could use it.
Trail hacked kilts seller Scotweb, his former employer
In their subsequent investigation, police discovered that Trail also hacked the IT network of his former employee, Scotweb, a Scottish retailer.
Trail accessed the Scotweb network and stole information on some of the company’s customers, like personal data and credit card numbers.
“David Trail thought that using his extensive technical expertise he could carry out illegal activities and avoid detection, he was wrong,” Andrew Richardson, procurator fiscal for Edinburgh, and COPFS cybercrime lead, told the press.
“Criminals such as this should be aware that law enforcement agencies here in Scotland and throughout the world have state of the art forensic systems analysis at their disposal to identify and trace those seeking to stay below the radar when using the ‘dark web’ for criminality.”