A MAN has been spared jail over the sale of online tools allowing people to hack computers with little or no experience.
Craig Fox, aged 30, was sentenced at Bolton Crown Court yesterday after pleading guilty to three counts of making or supplying articles for computer misuse and one count of unauthorised access to computer materials.
The conviction followed a detailed investigation by detectives from the Titan North West Regional Cyber Crime Unit.
He was sentenced to nine months in prison suspended for two years for the development and sale of the online tools, believed to be for the commission of cyber crime offences.
Fox, of Robertson Street in Radcliffe, was also ordered to undertake 200 hours of unpaid work, to pay £3500 in court costs and issued a Serious Crime Prevention Order for five years.
The order places certain restrictions on Fox, stopping him from purchasing or registering web domains and servers outside of the UK and place a notification requirement on him to notify the police of any online identities and usernames.
Detective Superintendent Sally Johnson from Titan said: “This was a complex long running investigation into the sale of online tools by Craig Fox using a website ‘Dreamwalker Software’.
“The tools offered for sale allowed others to engage in hacking with little or no computing experience. Detectives gathered evidence against Craig Fox and were able to prove that he was also responsible for defacing a website.
“The arrest, conviction and sentence of Craig Fox demonstrates that online hacking is not anonymous. UK Law Enforcement and international partners are increasingly effective at identifying and pursuing those involved in cybercrime throughout the world. Hacking websites is not a victimless crime and it causes real emotional and financial harm to individuals and businesses.
“The sentencing of Craig Fox and the Serious Crime Prevention Order is a significant step forward in the ongoing fight against cyber-crime which really does affect us all.”