Norwich airport and hospital cyber-attack: Man admits guilt

Norwich Airport
Image caption Deveraux claimed a friend called "Muslim Electronic Army" could use the hack to post on the airport's website about a bomb

A man using the pseudonym "His Royal Gingerness" has pleaded guilty to two cyber attacks of a hospital and an airport.

Daniel Devereux, 30, of no fixed address, admitted two counts of unauthorised access under the Computer Misuse Act.

He hacked into the websites of Norwich Airport and the Norfolk and Norwich hospital in 2015.

Sentencing is due to take place at Norwich Magistrates' Court on 16 June.

Image copyright PA
Image caption The website of the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital was hacked in September 2015

The court heard the airport hack in September 2015 affected bookings and arrivals and departure boards.

The airport took its website down for three days and built a new one at an estimated cost of between £30,000 to £40,000, the court was told.

Magistrates heard the hospital hack, which took place in November 2015, did not impact on clinical procedures.

The Norwich and Norfolk hospital took its website offline for 24 hours while it improved its security.

Image copyright Google
Image caption A man has been charged in connection with a cyber attack on Norwich Airport's website.

Mark Davis, defending Devereux, claimed he was a "white hat hacker" who suffered from mental health issues. Reports on Devereux's mental health are due to be prepared prior to sentencing.

Mr Davis said: "The hacks he perpetrated were for the improvement and benefit of these systems rather than for malicious intent or personal gain."

Devereux contacted BBC Radio Norfolk in November 2015, saying he had hacked into Norwich Airport's website.

He also posted videos on YouTube explaining the hacks and at all times identified himself as "His Royal Gingerness".

He claimed it took him two or three minutes to achieve each hack and he claimed a friend called "Muslim Electronic Army" could use it to put a message on the airport's website "saying there was a bomb in the airport".

Police were able to trace the hacks to the same IP address.

Devereux is currently serving a prison sentence for another matter.

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