GhostMarket cyber crime teens sentenced

Cyber crime

Two British teenagers involved in the GhostMarket cyber crime forum have been sentenced for a variety of offences.

Brighton residents Zachary Woodham, 19, and Louis Tobenhouse, 18, were arrested last year following an investigation by the Metropolitan Police Service's Police Central e-Crime Unit (PCeU).

Woodham, currenly a law student at Sussex University, received a suspended prison sentence of 18 months imprisonment and 360 hours of community service. Tobenhouse was slapped with 400 hours of unpaid community work.

Woodham, who went by the alias Colonel Root, hacked into a web hosting company named Punkyhosting, eventually causing it to cease trading.

The youngster even left a taunting email to the firm boasting about his actions, but the hack was to land him in trouble.

Once the offence came to the attention of PCeU, the police discovered a list of criminal activities Woodham had been involved in. Further inquiries implicated Tobenhouse's involvement too.

The PCeU discovered the pair had infiltrated a number of online casinos and betting companies, as well as other web hosting firms, acquiring thousands of credit card details.

Woodham used the details partly to pay for access to a number of premium rate chat lines which he owned, thereby earning him a tidy profit.

As for their GhostMarket work, Woodham and Tobenhouse posted tutorials on the site, providing tips on hacking and how to avoid capture.

In March, four individuals were given prison sentences for their involvement in GhostMarket. Two of them were teenagers.

"Woodham and Tobenhouse chose to abuse their computer skills causing a considerable amount of financial loss and anxiety to a number of innocent people," said Detective Constable Stuart Hosking of the PCeU.

"Woodham in particular has shown himself to be a vindictive hacker with no sign of remorse towards any of his victims."

Those who want to get into the IT industry may want to keep in mind what Tobenhouse said on his arrest: "I will never get a job in IT now."

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.