Headhunter admits to hacking into former firm’s computer system

Gary Chaplin left his job at Manchester executive recruitment firm Stark Brooks after he sent a reply to a job-hunter’s enquiry to 4,000 people by accident.

Since then, the 41-year-old, of Wilmslow, has launched his own executive search and careers advice firm.

Now, its has emerged Mr Chaplin has accepted a police caution after Stark Brooks bosses reported suspicions someone had tapped into the firm’s IT systems.

That comes on the back of him having to issue an apology and pay legal costs to the boss of IT security firm NCC Group Rob Cotton.

Mr Chaplin claimed on Twitter Mr Cotton had hit a cyclist in his car and driven off, which the headhunter later admitted in a statement on his website was untrue.

After the M.E.N contacted Stark Brooks about the latest incident, the firm issued a statement, which said: “The directors of Stark Brooks became aware in February 2013, having earlier had unproven suspicions, that there had been unauthorised access by an external party to the company’s computer network and server.

“The matter was reported to Greater Manchester Police and we now have been informed that an individual was arrested on Thursday June 27 in connection with the matter and subsequently received a police caution after admitting unauthorised access to computer material, in breach of the Computer Misuse Act 1990 and its amendments under the Police and Justice Act 2006.

“As far as our company is concerned, it is business as usual as we continue to serve our clients to our usual excellent standard.

“We have conducted a full review of our network security and are completely satisfied the security vulnerability has been eliminated.

“We are now taking advice in relation to potential civil action against the perpetrator.

A GMP spokesman said: “Greater Manchester Police can confirm that on June 27, a warrant was executed at an address on Gravel Lane, Wilmslow.

“As a result, a man was subsequently given a police caution for causing a computer to perform a function to secure/enable unauthorised access to a program contrary to the Computer Misuse Act of 1990.”

The story of Mr Chaplin’s email row broke in December 2011. Then reportedly earning £200,000-a-year at Stark Brooks, he received a mass-mailed enquiry from a job-seeker called Manos Katsampoukas.

But instead of replying to just him, he sent is response to the 4,000 people contacted in the first place.

Mr Chaplin’s response included a host of expletives and said “you are too stupid to get a job, even in banking.”

Earlier this month, he issued his apology to Mr Cotton, who heads Manchester-based NCC.

As well paying his legal costs, he made a “considerable” donation to Mr Cotton’s On the Road to Recovery charity cycle ride in aid of The Christie cancer hospital.

After we contacted Mr Chaplin’s lawyer Steve Kuncewicz, of Berman’s, Mr Chaplin issued a statement, which said: “I voluntarily met with the police, without need for representation, to assist with their enquiries regarding events of seven months ago.

“The police were fully satisfied and ceased all investigation immediately.”


Source:  http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/business/business-news/headhunter-admits-hacking-former-firms-4818983

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