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A teenage hacker says that he “honestly regrets” a cyber attack that brought down the websites of both the FBI and Home Office.
Charlton Floate sat in his bedroom as he hacked in to the sites – bringing the FBI site to a standstill for five hours – all at the tender age of just 16.
However, Floate, now 19, of Solihull, avoided an immediate jail sentence last month despite admitting three charges under the Computer Misuse Act and two of possessing prohibited images.
He was given an eight-month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, and was ordered to carry out 250 hours of community service.
Mr Recorder John Steele QC said that Floate was “highly intelligent” with a deep and clear knowledge of information technology who had taken a lead role in the conspiracy and had recruited others.
The self-styled internet and online marketing guru, then aged 16, managed to cripple the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s internet crime complaints centre site for more than five hours, by flooding the server with huge amounts of data traffic.
Speaking to BBC 5 Live Daily, the reformed hacker expressed deep regret at his actions.
He said: “I honestly regret doing that type of thing now. I got caught up in a world that is rather dark, but it gives you a home when you’re not quite happy with real life,” he told the radio station.
And yet, according to Floate, hacking these government sites wasn’t much of a challenge.