Man sentenced for cyber attacks on Home Office and FBI

Charles (Charlton) Floate on his way into Birmingham Crown Court Credit: ITV Central

Full report by ITV News Central reporter Chris Halpin

A man has been sentenced for carrying out cyber-attacks on the Home Office and FBI websites.

Charlton Floate, from Solihull, was sentenced to eight months, suspended for 18 months, and was given a serious organised crime prevention order, restricting his access to internet and computer activity.

The 19-year-old was also sentenced after pleading guilty to possessing prohibited images of children.

Floate launched a cyber-attack on the Home Office website Credit: PA

His sentence comes after an investigation by police following a cyber attack on the Home Office website, which led to the site being unavailable for almost an hour and a half.

Detectives quickly found a Twitter account taking credit for the attack.

The offence was found to be part of a larger campaign orchestrated by Floate to target government websites at home and abroad, including the FBI.

Detectives found he used an online alias - ThisIsGame0ver - and planned the attacks with others in online chat rooms.

The FBI website suffered a cyber-attack by Floate Credit: PA

He was arrested on September 12, 2014 and searches identified 111 prohibited images of children on his computer.

Police also found evidence that Floate had access to software that allowed him to take control of other users computers.

Floate pleaded guilty to possessing prohibited images of children. Credit: PA

They found a video recorded through these means of a man performing a sex act, which was done without the knowledge of the victim and was later posted to YouTube by Floate in an attempt to humiliate him.

During interviews he refused to comment on any of the allegations but at a hearing in August he pleaded guilty to:

  • conspiracy to commit an offence contrary to section 3 of the computer misuse act 1990;

  • one count of an unauthorized act with intent to impair the operation of a computer;

  • one count of unauthorized access to computer material;

  • two counts of possessing prohibited images of children.

Detective Sergeant Nigel Collins, from the West Midlands Regional Organised Crime Unit, said:

Today’s sentence is the result of a long and extensive investigation into Floate and his illegal activities online.

Nigel Collins, West Midlands Regional Organised Crime Unit

Speaking outside Birmingham Crown Court after the sentencing, Floate said he regretted his actions. He said:

Charlton Floate giving a brief statement outside court Credit: ITV News Central

I fully regret my actions and my participation in everything that happened today and I just want to move on with my life and get back to work and continue with what I was doing previously.

Charles Floate