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Hacker known as ‘His Royal Gingerness’ jailed for cyber-attacks on Norwich Airport and Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital

PUBLISHED: 18:04 18 June 2017

Norwich Magistrates' Court

Norwich Magistrates' Court

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A hacker who called himself “His Royal Gingerness” has been jailed 32 weeks for disruptive cyber-attacks on the websites of an airport and a hospital.

Daniel Devereux, 30, of no fixed address, targeted the websites of Norwich International Airport and the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

Devereux, who has short ginger hair, admitted two counts of unauthorised access under the Computer Misuse Act and appeared for sentence at Norwich Magistrates’ Court.

Ian Devine, prosecuting, said the hospital hack did not impact on clinical procedures and no patient data was accessed but his action resulted in the hospital website being temporarily taken offline for the best part of a day.

The airport had to take its website down for three days and a new website was built, costing the airport around £37,000 in loss of income and other expenses.

Mr Devine said the hack caused disruption to the airport an added to the workload of staff, who had to answer customer queries by phone as they could not access the website for information.

Both the airport and hospital received emails from Devereux signed “His Royal Gingerness”, stating he had hacked their websites with ease. He later posted videos to YouTube explaining how to gain unauthorised access to the websites.

The court heard that Devereux had mental health problems and was currently serving a prison sentence for an unrelated matter.

Mark Davies, for Devereux, said his intention had been to warn the hospital and the airport about the flaws in their systems and to get them to fix it.

“He told both the airport and the hospital of the flaws in their systems before he posted them on YouTube.

“He acted out of frustration that the problem had not been fixed. He is a man who has had mental health problems.”

District Judge Nick Watson jailed Devereux for 32 weeks and also made him subject to a five-year criminal behaviour order, which will closely monitor his use of the internet.

Devereux smiled as he was led away to the cells.

Detective Sergeant Sam Shevlin from the Norfolk and Suffolk Cybercrime unit, said: “The CBO gives us, the Norfolk and Suffolk Cybercrime Unit, lawful authority to monitor Deveraux and his activity. This is an effective way of preventing further offences and robustly dealing with any breaches.

“This is the first CBO that has been applied for in our region for offences under the Misuse of Computer Act and I hope it reassures the community that we will pursue and prosecute offenders.

“The team of specialist investigators within the Cybercrime unit provide the technical expertise required to deal with these types of offences. We are totally committed to protecting the public’s digital safety.”

The CBO, which lasts for five years, prohibits Deveraux from:

-Owning or using any device capable of accessing the internet, unless it’s make and model have been given to the police prior to said ownership or use.

-Using any device capable of accessing the internet unless i) it has the capacity to retain and display the history of internet use, and ii) he makes the device available on request for inspection by a police officer.

-Deleting any internet history or allowing any internet history to be deleted from any device capable of accessing the internet that you use.

-Using any device capable of accessing the internet in such a way as to avoid its internet browsing history being saved and readily accessed on the device.

-Buying, using or obtaining any software programme capable of hiding or deleting any internet history.

-Buying, using or obtaining any software programme capable of hiding, concealing or otherwise disguising their internet activity, to include but not exhaustive of, Virtual Private Networks, Proxy Servers and/or the TOR “Dark Web” network.

He must:

-Volunteer passwords to any and all encrypted files stored on any hard drive or removable media device/ any partition of any hard drive or removable media/ any virtual drive/ any cloud based storage

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