Teenage hacker behind university network attacks spared jail

Jack Chappell launched distributed denial of service attack against Janet service

December 19, 2017
Hacker fingers
Source: iStock

A teenage computer hacker who caused widespread disruption to the computer network used by UK higher education institutions has been spared jail.

Jack Chappell, now 19, launched a distributed denial of service attack against the Janet network in December 2015 that brought down websites and limited connectivity for staff and students over several days.

Chappell changed his attack as a result of information provided to members on Twitter by Jisc, which manages the network, forcing the organisation to keep members informed directly.

At Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court, Chappell was given a 16-month sentence, suspended for two years. He had pleaded guilty to a series of offences, including one count of unauthorised access to a computer with the intent to impair operations relating to the Janet attack, at a previous hearing.

Paul Feldman, chief executive of Jisc, said after the hearing: “We are very pleased to have been able to assist the police in their investigation of this case; it sends a strong message to other would-be attackers that such criminal behaviour will not be tolerated.”

Chappell, of Curtis Road, Stockport, also conducted attacks against organisations including Amazon, the BBC, Netflix and the National Crime Agency.

chris.havergal@timeshighereducation.com

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