A hacker who hacked into the website of the UK National Lottery in 2016 was sentenced to nine months in prison for his ill-fated and eventually unrewarding endeavours.
National Lottery provider Camelot alerted consumers in November 2016 that their personal data could have been compromised after discovering that unauthorised persons had gained access to some 26,500 online accounts.
Police traced one of the IP addresses from which the hack happened to Aston University the following spring. Police then arrested suspect Idris Kayode Akinwunmi, who quickly cracked under police interrogation and surrendered the names of two other suspects with whom he claimed he had only communicated through a WhatsApp chat forum.
Akinwunmi claimed that the primary instigator of the National Lottery hack was a whatsApp user identified only as’ Rosegold.’ Akinwunmi claimed that Rosegold had provided him with the Sentry MBA brute-forcing tool, and instructed him how to use it to access the National Lottery accounts.
Rosegold entered into an agreement with the other two perpetrators that he would take a share from Lottery accounts of any of the purloined proceeds. Akinwunmi’s hacking efforts yielded £13 in total, although he gave £5 to Rosegold to fulfil their deal.
A little surveillance-sleuthing revealed that Rosegold was Anwar Batson, a resident of Notting Hill, but when police appeared at the door of Batson he claimed that he was the “victim of online trolling” and other people had access to his computers. A subsequent investigation of his digital devices uncovered evidence of his conversations with Akinwunmi and Daniel Thompson’s fellow suspect.
Both Akinwunmi and Thompson were both involved and ultimately sentenced to four and eight months, respectively. Yet Batson continued to assert his innocence before suddenly changing his plea to guilty last December, serving nine months in prison, paying £ 250 in court costs and repaying £ 5 taken from that client.
A Camelot spokesman told the court that the hacking cost the company about £ 230k and that as a result of the negative advertising, about 250 customers closed their online accounts.
The 2016 hack wasn’t the National Lottery’s last unauthorised intrusion suffered as a result of another hack in 2018, but Camelot said no customer had suffered any financial loss from that incident.