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Student Facebook Hacker Jailed for Eight Months

20 February 2012

Glenn Mangham, a software development student from the UK has been sentenced to 8 months in prison, after hacking the servers of Facebook between April and May last year. Facebook spent approx $200,000 dealing with the crime after finding the infiltration after a routine check, which sparked a investigation by the FBI and British authorities.

The 26-year-old student claims he had "wanted to identify vulnerabilities in the system so he could alert Facebook". The prosecutor, Sandip Patel, explained how Mangham had ''unlawfully accessed and hacked into the social media website Facebook and its computers in April to May last year from his bedroom in Yorkshire'', ultimately stealing ''invaluable'' intellectual property, which he stored on an external hard drive.

Mangham claimed that he had previously shown the search engine Yahoo how it could improve its security, and said the company rewarded him for his efforts. His defence called him an “ethical hacker” who was trying to help Facebook against security threats and that Mangham had never been in trouble with the law before.

The judge concluded that the hacker did not pass on any of the information to 3rd parties and he did not benefit financially. The stolen information did not include any user data, just Facebook’s internal data and corporate communications. Even so, the court sentenced Mangham to serve four consecutive terms in prison, three for hacking and one for causing or risking damage to the attacked systems.

The student was also given a serious crime prevention order that restricts his access to the Internet and has his computer equipment confiscated.

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Access Control Systems using Power over Ethernet (PoE) Technology from Borer