A hacker who broke into the website of the UK National Lottery in 2016 was sentenced to nine months in prison for his ill-fated and ultimately unrewarding endeavors.
National Lottery provider Camelot alerted consumers in November 2016 that their personal data could have been hacked after discovering that unknown persons had gained access to some 26,500 online accounts.
Investigators tracked one of the IP addresses from which the attack happened to Aston University the following spring. Police then detained defendant Idris Kayode Akinwunmi, who soon cracked under police interrogation and confessed two other suspects with whom he said he had only interacted through a WhatsApp chat forum.
Akinwunmi claimed that the primary instigator of the National Lottery hack was a whatsApp user identified only as’ Rosegold.’ Akinwunmi said that Rosegold had supplied him with the Sentry MBA brute-forcing device, and told him how to use it to enter the National Lottery accounts.
Rosegold entered into a deal with the other two suspects that he would receive a cut from Lottery accounts of any of the purloined proceeds. Akinwunmi’s hacking activities produced £ 13 in all, while he contributed £ 5 to Rosegold to satisfy their contract. Who said (really inept) robbers have no honor?
A little cyber-sleuthing revealed that Rosegold was Anwar Batson, a resident of Notting Hill, but when police appeared at the door of Batson he claimed that he was the “victim of online trolling” and other people had access to his computers. A subsequent analysis of his digital devices uncovered details of his conversations with the fellow defendant Daniel Thompson and Akinwunmi.
All Akinwunmi and Thompson were both implicated and ultimately sentenced to four and eight months, respectively. Yet Batson (pictured) tried to assert his innocence before suddenly shifting his conviction last December to guilty for which he will be serving nine months in prison, charging £ 250 in court costs and repaying £ 5 taken from that client.
A Camelot spokesperson told the court that the intrusion cost the company about £ 230k and that about 250 consumers deleted their online accounts as a result of the misleading ads.
The 2016 attack wasn’t the National Lottery’s only illegal assault, having been the target of another hack in 2018, but Camelot said that no consumer has incurred any financial loss from that event.