Computer hacker from Norwich wanted in USA

Convicted Norwich hacker Elliott Gunton. Photo: East Anglia News Service

Convicted Norwich hacker Elliott Gunton. Photo: East Anglia News Service - Credit: Archant

A Norwich computer hacker is wanted in America on fresh charges after an indictment was laid against him in California.

Convicted hacker Elliott Gunton Photo: East Anglia News Service

Convicted hacker Elliott Gunton Photo: East Anglia News Service - Credit: Archant

According to court documents seen by this newspaper, the allegations relate to the hack of Chicago-based cryptocurrency exchange EtherDelta in December 2017.

They claim 19-year-old Elliott Gunton - who was previously convicted of hacking TalkTalk - cloned the company's website after hacking its email server, which is based in San Francisco.

When customers logged on to the fake website he would obtain their cryptocurrency address and 'private key' - which enables withdrawal of funds, the indictment alleges.

According to the court documents, one customer lost in the region of $800,000.

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Charges were laid against Gunton on August 13, just three days before he was sentenced at Norwich Crown Court for computer misuse and money laundering offences.

He is charged jointly in the USA with Anthony Tyler Nashatka, of New York.

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Gunton and Nashatka, operating under online pseudonyms 'Planet' and 'Psycho', are alleged to have altered EtherDelta's domain settings to be able to access and withdraw funds from users cryptocurrency accounts.

The indictment claims the conspiracy began on December 13, 2017, when Nashatka is said to have bought personal details for an EtherDelta employee on the black market and sent them to Gunton.

On December 19, Gunton is said to have convinced a call centre operator to attach a call forwarding number to a Google Voice account the pair controlled.

The next day access was gained to the employee's email account, which was redirected to a company registered in the UK, the indictment says.

The company website was cloned the same day and the employee was unaware of the breach as they had lost control of their email account.

The indictment says Gunton and Nashatka were "able to withdraw cryptocurrency from hundreds of victim EtherDelta users" between December 20 and 26.

Gunton faces five charges in the USA.

They include conspiracy to commit computer fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and aggravated identity theft.

The indictment was filed in the United States District Court, and if convicted he could face up to 20 years in prison.

On August 16, Gunton, of Mountenay Close in Norwich, was sentenced at Norwich Crown Court after admitting breaching a sexual harm prevention order, multiple Computer Misuse Act offences and money laundering.

The teenager had been under close watch by police after being made subject to a sexual harm prevention order in June 2016. Explicit images had been discovered on his laptop and officers began checking his computer every six months.

In April 2018 they discovered a "suite" of hacking tools on his computer. The software was being used to penetrate network providers and take over social media accounts before offering them for sale on hacker forums. Locked inside a "nano-ledger", officers found more than £400,000 worth of crypto-currency, while Gunton maintained he was unemployed.

Gunton had previously been convicted in December 2016 of hacking TalkTalk and Cambridge University - exposing vulnerabilities in their systems and publishing them online.

In August he was ordered to pay back £407,359,35 and was given a criminal behaviour order for three and a half years.

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