Suspected Mumsnet Hacker Charged

Suspected Mumsnet Hacker Charged

A Surrey teenager has been charged with computer-related offenses in connection with attacks on the Mumsnet site last year, according to the Metropolitan Police.

In a brief statement on Monday, the Met’s Cyber Crime Unit (MPCCU) claimed it had charged David Gerrard Buchanan, 18, of Vann Road, Haslemere, with two counts of “causing a computer to perform a function to secure/enable unauthorized access to a program / data” and one count of “unauthorized acts with intent to impair operation of or prevent/hinder access to a computer.”

All three charges came under the Computer Misuse Act of 1990.

Two 17-year-olds were questioned under caution in connection with the attacks but subsequently released with no further action taken.

The statement continued:

“The charges relate to various incidents of computer intrusion and damage to network profiles following attacks on systems controlled by the website Mumsnet and others between July and August 2015.”

As reported by Infosecurity at the time, Mumsnet founder Justine Roberts revealed in August that her site had been DDoS-ed, and user account details stolen and hacked into.

It was thought at the time that the hacker(s) in question phished several accounts by tricking users into entering their credentials into a fake log-in page. All users were urged to change their passwords after the incident was discovered.

It was suspected to be the work of a troll on the site – @DadSecurity online – who had posted provocative Twitter comments such as “RIP Mumsnet” and “Our DDoS attacks are keeping you offline.”

At around the same time, Roberts and another Mumsnet user who interacted with the troll online were hit by so-called “swatting” attacks – when hoaxers phone through a fake alert to police in order to get an armed response team sent to the victim’s home.

It’s not known what the motivation for the attacks was and police say they are still investigating the incident.

Buchanan is set to appear at Guildford Magistrate’s Court on 7 June.

Source: Information Security Magazine