United Kingdom Teenager part of the hacking team that crashed home office and FBI websites

A Solihull teenager who was a part of the team of hackers that was responsible for cyber attacks that caused the government websites in the UK and USA to crash was heard by a court.

Charlton Floate, 19, who worked from his family home in Solihull not only broke into government sites, but also took control of other people’s computers and “bragged” about the group’s success on the internet.

Floate, of Starbold Crescent in Solihull, has confessed to three charges under the Computer Misuse Act and three for possessing images forbidden by law.

In November 2012, Floate had performed two test runs by hacking into the computers of two men in the U.S., said prosecutor Kevin Barry at the Birmingham Crown Court.

Further, in January 2013, Floate and others had aimed the “heavily used” Home Office website that provides details about various subjects, including passports and immigration, added Mr Barry.

The team was able to “bombard” the site with a great quantity of digital traffic making it to crash by affecting other computers with Malware, he also added.

Another site used by the FBI that allows people to report crime was also temporarily shut down using the same method.

He celebrated the attacks in public on an Internet forum used by hackers very often and also on Twitter, by mentioning that the FBI site had been “down” for nearly five hours.

When Floate used his IP address to check how successful the attacks had been, the Police were able to connect him to the cyber attacks that were carried out.

The defendant’s computer used for the attacks along with his mobile phone was recovered by the officers from his mother’s address in Solihull, said Mr Barry.

He also said that evidence that indicated that Floate had attempted to employ another person into the scheme was also found. It pointed to conversations regarding likely weaknesses in certain websites and possible future targets that included the CIA and The White House.

Mr Barry claimed that Floate was the central player and was “at the heart of the conspiracy”.

Denying the claim, the defendant said that he was only an outsider to what was happening and was only acting as a public relations officer for the group.

Mr Recorder Steel QC will be making a decision on the issue.

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