Edward Pearson from York, England was recently sentenced to just over 2 years in prison after he pleaded guilty for being responsible for stealing around 200,000 PayPal accounts as well as a few thousand bank card numbers. From all of this information, he had personal information such as their name and full address of around 8 million UK residents.
The young hacker (23) used malware so that he could slowly build up all these records about millions of people, which took him around a year to get. Nearly all of the information that he gathered was just names and so on, but there were also bank card numbers from over 2,000 people. It’s believed that he could’ve sold all of this data and made hundreds of thousands of pounds, or even millions of pounds but fortunately it didn’t go that far. If all of these details got into the wrong hands the situation could’ve been a lot worse. The police were first alerted about this case when Edward’s girlfriend, a 21 year old student, decided to use the credit cards that they had access to so that they could book hotel rooms in York – the same area that the couple are from. The Southwark Crown court hear that Edward made just £2,400 from all the stolen accounts and bank cards, which is why he only got 26 months in prison.
It’s amazing how much information that this hacker had his hands on, and it’s surprising that more people haven’t been affected by noticing strange charges on their credit cards, bank accounts etc. To give you some sort of an idea how much information that Edward had, if you were to print it all out it would take nearly 140,000 A4 pages to fit it all in!
This isn’t the only hacking operation that he carried out though. In the past he also hacked into several networks including AOL and Nokia which allowed him to access information about all of their employees, which at the time was 8,000+. Nokia were then forced to close their network for weeks which obviously caused a lot of trouble and also cost the company a lot of money too.
Hopefully this skilful hacker can put his talent to better things in the future when he is released from prison. Luckily for him he won’t be in prison for too long compared to what a lot of other hackers have been sentenced to. It’s quite clear that he wasn’t in it for the money though, since he only stole £2,400 or so, and most of it was used to pay for his internet, pizza deliveries etc! £2,400 might sound like a lot of money but considering that this data could’ve easily sold for £8m according to a prosecutor in the court, it’s likely that he was just doing this for a challenge.