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Student Glenn Mangham, from Acomb, jailed for hacking attack on Facebook
10:30am Saturday 18th February 2012 in News
A TECHNOLOGY expert has been jailed after he nearly brought down the Facebook website from his York bedroom, in the biggest such case ever to come before a British court.
Glenn Mangham, 26, admitted infiltrating the website from his parents' house in Cornlands Road, Acomb, between April and May last year.
His actions risked destroying "the whole enterprise" and sparked fears among American authorities of industrial espionage, the court heard.
Mangham, a software development student, had previously shown the search engine Yahoo how it could improve its security and said he wanted to do the same for Facebook, The Press reported last year.
But prosecutor Sandip Patel rejected his claims, teling the court: "He acted with determination, undoubted ingenuity and it was sophisticated, it was calculating."
Facebook spent $200,000 (£126,400) dealing with Mangham's crime, which triggered a "concerted, time-consuming and costly investigation" by the FBI and British law enforcement.
"He said he wanted a mini project and chose Facebook because of its high-profile internet presence," Mr Patel said.
"The prosecution does not accept that the defendant's actions were anything other than malicious."
He told Southwark Crown Court in London Mangham had "unlawfully accessed and hacked into the social media website Facebook and its computers in April to May last year from his bedroom in Yorkshire"
and had ultimately stolen "invaluable" intellectual property, which he downloaded on to an external hard drive.
He added: "This represents the most extensive and grave incident of social media hacking to be brought before the British courts."
Passing an eight-month jail sentence, Judge Alistair McCreath told Mangham his actions were not harmless and had "real consequences and very serious potential consequences," which could have been "utterly disastrous" for Facebook.
"You and others who are tempted to act as you did really must understand how serious this is," he said.
"The creation of that risk, the extent of that risk and the cost of putting it right mean at the end of it all I'm afraid a prison sentence is inevitable."