You’re nicked: UK man charged over severe Mumsnet hack

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A British man has been charged in connection to a cyberattack against Mumsnet which knocked the popular parenting website offline.

Mumsnet experienced a data breach earlier this year when a hacker broke into the website’s servers and exploited administration privileges to redirect the site to a Twitter account which posted messages such as “RIP Mumsnet” and “Our DDoS attacks are keeping you offline,” as well as launch distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks against the domain.

Two users who confronted the Twitter account holder were then “swatted,” a malicious practice in which someone — in this case, the 18-year-old — tricks law enforcement into sending armed police to raid their homes.

Mumsnet co-founder Justine Roberts and a user were the victims of swatting in this case.

According to the Metropolitan Police’s Cyber Crime Unit (MPCCU), David Gerrard Buchanan from Surrey was charged on 21 May with two counts under the Computer Misuse Act 1990, as well as one count of unauthorised acts with intent to impair operation of or prevent & hinder access to a computer.

UK law enforcement says that the charges were related to this cyberattack “among others.”

Buchanan will appear at Guildford Magistrates’ Court on June 7 for sentencing.

In related news, a student was recently arrested by Slovenian law enforcement and handed a suspended sentence after publicly disclosing severe security flaws in Tetra, a communication system used by the country’s military, police and government agencies.

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