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And a giant step for Internetkind.
You really have to feel for the law enforcement officers throughout the world trying to bust the scum that attack your brothers, sisters, mother, father, grandparents, and everyone else. As hard as they try to catch and convict these dirt bags they run into all kinds of obstacles.
One of the obstacles are incredibly ignorant politicians, and companies offering fairly unsophisticated script kiddies jobs, when a cybercriminal is apprehended you have moronic judges handing out woefully inadequate sentence. What a breath of fresh air it was to read http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2010/nov/23/computer-expert-jailed-hacking-webcams. Finally, a malicious hacker gets a meaningful sentence.
Arguably, 18 months is still a light sentence for what the criminal did, but still, 18 months in jail is more than a slap on the hand. The unfortunate side of this is that Anderson probably should have received a good 10 years in a psychiatric facility. Really, a 33 year old man who brags about making a teenage girl cry has some serious mental problems and needs some serious treatment in addition to incarceration. It is difficult to believe that 18 months, even with intensive psychiatric treatment the whole time will be enough, however, at least the efforts of the law enforcement professionals working the case were not dismissed with the wave of a hand of an ignorant judge.
Kudos to Judge Geoffrey Rivlin QC for recognizing the severity of the crime and for handing down a meaningful sentence that will eventually help build law enforcement as a deterrent to some cybercriminals, and kudos to Scotland Yard for bringing the criminal to justice.
Director of Technical Education
Cyber Threat Analysis Center – ESET LLC
Author ESET Research, ESET