A hacker who stole information from firms across the UK has been sentenced to a significant stint in prison.
Craig Fox, of Scholes Drive, Chadderton, was rumbled after a raid at the IT expert’s old home on Marsland Road, Sale.
The raid occurred after Cheshire Police tracked attacks on two firms linked to homeware and interior design to the address.
In the first attack, Fox altered the business website, prevented access to the business website and tried to delete data.
And in the second attack, he altered the business website, distributed emails from the business account and threatened to release data.
Initially, on Marsland Road, officers went to an address where there was no sign of illegal activity.
But it soon transpired the occupant’s neighbour once asked to use his WiFi, and a check of the router discovered a device called ‘CraigLaptop’.
Fox was not in when officers went next door but a search of his room uncovered a laptop charger and a piece of paper with a WiFi code on it.
Despite these discoveries, the 36-year-old later denied he owned either a laptop or a personal phone.
Detectives arrested him and an investigation revealed his device was in an office in Manchester. It was seized and examined for evidence.
It was also established Fox attacked a number of other firms across the UK after he contacted them about weaknesses in their IT security.
He was charged with blackmail, fraud and a number of offences under the Computer Misuse Act, all of which he admitted.
At Chester Crown Court on August 12, he was sentenced to five years in prison and to a 10-year Criminal Behaviour Order.
Fox was also ordered to cover £190 in costs.
Detective Sergeant Dave MacFarlane, of Cheshire Police, said: “Fox thought he could hide his exploits by claiming not to own a laptop or even a personal phone, but was blatant enough to use his own name on correspondence.
“This was a complex case and I would like to thank the victims and witnesses without whom this result would not have been possible.
“I would also like to thank the courts for passing down the sentence that they have to Fox.
“I hope that this case acts as a deterrent and shows how we are relentless in our pursuit of criminals and we will not stop until justice is served.”
This article was written by Jack Tooth. Jack is the reporter for The Messenger and covers anything and everything from within the Metropolitan Borough of Trafford.
To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org or follow @JTRTooth on Twitter.