Birmingham & Black Country

Sean Caffrey sentenced for stealing US military data

Sean Caffrey leaving court
Image caption Sean Caffrey caused "an international security breach", prosecutors say

A computer hacker who admitted stealing hundreds of user accounts from a US military communications system has been given a suspended prison sentence.

Sean Caffrey, 25, from Sutton Coldfield, hacked into the US Department of Defense system in 2014.

He accessed and stole the ranks, user-names and email addresses of more than 800 users, as well as hacking about 30,000 satellite phones.

Caffrey was given a suspended sentence of 18 months at Birmingham Crown Court.

'International security breach'

The American Department of Defense said the 2014 attack, an offence under the Computer Misuse Act, took 50 hours to repair at a cost of more than $600,000 (approximately £450,000).

Forensic examination of Caffrey's computers found the stolen data on the hard drives.

Officers also found that an online messaging account linked to the attack had been opened and operated under a pseudonym using Caffrey's computers.

Image copyright NAtional Crime Agency
Image caption Forensic examination of Sean Caffrey's computer found the stolen data on his hard drives

Caffrey, of Lichfield Road, admitted causing a computer to perform a function to secure unauthorised access to a program or data.

Rose-Marie Franton, from the Crown Prosecution Service, said: "By infiltrating the computer systems of the American military, Sean Caffrey caused an international security breach which cost hundreds of thousands to fix.

"Despite his efforts to mask his online identity, the prosecution was able to build a compelling case against him. Faced with the evidence, Caffrey admitted his guilt."

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