A UK man has been sentenced to four years, two months after pleading guilty to charges of blackmail, possession of articles for use in fraud and possession of indecent images of children.
In May 2013, Lewys Martin allegedly demanded a payment of £207,000 in bitcoins from Lloyd’s Bank, threatening to expose the details of thousands of bank accounts he illegally gained access to. He had gathered these details through phishing attacks and produced samples to validate his claims.
He also used software to anonymize his identity which, combined with the anonymity of bitcoin payments, would have covered his tracks.
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The Metropolitan Police’s Cybercrime Unit worked with Lloyd’s as well as with a local paper to track down the blackmailer. Said Detective Chief Inspector Jason Tunn:
“I am pleased with today’s sentence which sends out a strong message that this type of crime is taken seriously. Martin pleaded guilty following diligent and complex detective work undertaken by my officers and the support we received from Lloyds Banking Group and The Sun. The MPS is determined to track down and prosecute cyber criminals that seek to defraud businesses and residents of London.”
Following his arrest, investigators discovered compromised banking information and three malware programs used for phishing. Also discovered were indecent images of children, for which he received 23 months of his sentence.