Talktalk Hacker Pleads Guilty Of Trading Private Data In Exchange Of Cryptocurrency

By Rishma Banerjee

Nineteen year old Elliott Gunton, who hacked the database of telecom group Talktalk, has been sentenced on charges of offering hacking services and stolen private data in return for thousands of pounds in cryptocurrency.
The teenager who is a resident of a village in East England, was found guilty of hacking when he was only 16, the court was told at an earlier hearing.
While sentenced to 20 months jail time, Gunton was immediately released as he had already served his sentence while in custody. He has also been ordered by the court to pay back £407,359 and has been given a three-and-a-half-year community order, restricting his internet and software use.
Last year in April, officers went for a routine visit to ensure he was complying with a Sexual Harm Prevention Order imposed by the court in 2016. On going through his computer, the officers found that Gunton had offered to supply compromised personal data, including mobile phone numbers, for others to use for criminal purposes, such as intercepting calls and texts to commit fraud.
He even advertised his services in exchange for $3,000 (£2,469) in Bitcoin, rather than hard currency, such that it would be simpler to hide the payments from police.
The Norfolk police found fragments of online conversations that Gunton had regarding his criminal intentions which they used to bring everything to the surface.
Officers traced and seized £275,000 ($335,000) worth of cryptocurrency, including Bitcoin, under his control.
Gunton has admitted to a total of five charges, including computer misuse and money laundering offences, at the Norwich Crown Court.
Cryptocurrency, just like fiat, can be used for good or for bad. Governments around the world should analyse crypto objectively and understand its potential so that abuse of crypto can be reduced.

Rishma Banerjee

Rishma is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in International Relations and has a special place in her life for sifting through all sorts of random trivia, thank you very much.

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