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Durham man charged with hacking into police and British Airways websites

A man from East Durham is due to appear before magistrates charged with hacking into a number of corporate websites, including that of Durham Constabulary.

Officers from the cyber crime unit based in NERSOU (North East Regional Special Operations Unit) charged 22-year-old Paul Dixon, from The Avenue, Seaham with offences under the Computer Misuse Act.

Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

He has been charged with five offences relating to attacks against various websites, including Durham Constabulary, Police Scotland and British Airways, which took place in October 2014.

Det Sgt Rachel Lewis from the cyber crime unit said “The impact of the attacks disrupted the level of services provided to the public for significant periods of time and also caused a loss of revenue to the businesses affected.”

Dixon has been bailed to attend South Tyneside magistrates on Tuesday, 17th May.

Fraudsters hack charity's phones and rack up £700 bill

Local children’s Charity, Children North East, is warning other charities and businesses to be on their guard after phone lines at their head office in Newcastle were hacked at the weekend.

Fraudsters clocked up a bill of £680 calling premium numbers abroad.

The Charity, currently in the middle of its Christmas Appeal, learned of the intrusion when their telecoms provider, O2, contacted them on Monday morning.

We provide support to children, young people and families who are in desperate need of our help. It’s dreadful to think someone would steal from a charity especially at this time of year. Every Christmas we collect thousands of gifts, food, practical items and money for families in need. The £680 we are having to now pay for stolen phone calls should have provided support for children and families.

As an organisation we take security very seriously and we would like to thank O2 for looking out for us and bringing this to our attention before any more damage could be done.

– Jeremy Cripps, Chief Executive, Children North East


'Hacking' case into canoe couple dropped

A Sky News journalist accused of hacking into the emails of fake canoe death couple John and Anne Darwin will face no further action.

Gerard Tubb allegedly accessed their emails but the CPS said it was uncertain whether this had taken place in the UK, and prosecution would not be in the public interest.

Prosecutors also said that the public interest would outweigh any alleged criminal activity.

Sky News declined to comment.

Mr Darwin admitted faking his own death in March 2002 to allow his wife to make fraudulent insurance and pension claims.

The couple planned a new life in Panama, but were jailed in 2008 after jurors heard how they deceived the police, a coroner, financial institutions and even their family.

"On the evidence currently available it is not possible to ascertain whether the potential offence of unlawful interception of a communication was committed in the UK or the US.

"Although this may warrant further investigation, it has been decided under section 4.2 of the Code for Crown prosecutors that further investigations are not required as, in accordance with the DPP's guidelines, we do not consider that any potential prosecution would be in the public interest."

– Malcolm McHaffie, deputy head of special crime at the CPS

"Having considered the factors set out in the guidelines on cases affecting the media, it is our view that the evidence indicates that the public interest served by the conduct in question outweighs the potential overall criminality, should an offence be proved.

"In reaching this decision, we took into account that the emails were accessed with a view to showing that a criminal offence had been committed and that a number of the same emails were subsequently lawfully obtained by the police and used by the prosecution at the criminal trial of Anne Darwin."

– Malcolm McHaffie, deputy head of special crime at the CPS

Newcastle teen arrested over hacking claims

A teenager has been arrested in Newcastle over allegations that he hacked into websites and disrupted computer networks to illegally obtain information.

The 17-year-old was detained by police on Wednesday under the Computer Misuse Act 1990.

It's believed he's a member of a group called TeaMp0isoN (TeamPoison), which has claimed responsibility for more than 1,400 hacking offenses around the world.

A Met Police spokesman said: "Computer equipment has been seized and is undergoing a detailed forensic examination.

"Inquiries continue between the PCeU [Police Central eCrime Unit] and other relevant law enforcement agencies in this continuing and wide-ranging investigation."