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British teenager took down UK government and FBI websites

A teenager was part of a team of hackers who caused government websites in the UK and one used by the FBI to crash through cyber attacks, a court heard.

Working from the family home in Solihull, Charlton Floate also took control of other people’s computers and “bragged” about the group’s success on the internet, reports the Birmingham Mail.

Floate, 19, of Starbold Crescent, Knowle, Solihull, has admitted three charges under the Computer Misuse Act and three of possessing prohibited images.

Kevin Barry, prosecuting at Birmingham Crown Court, said in November 2012 Floate had carried out two test runs when he hacked into the computers of two men in the US.

He later up loaded a sexually explicit video on to You Tube to “mock and shame” one victim while he also “taunted” the other man over a number of days about having control of his computer.

Mr Barry said that in January 2013, Floate and others had targeted the “heavily used” Home Office web site which provides information about various subjects including passports and immigration.

He said by infecting other computers with malware the team were able to “bombard” the site with a large quantity of digital traffic causing it to crash. The same method was used to temporarily bring down a site used by the FBI which allows people to report crime.

Afterwards Floate had bragged about the attacks on an internet forum, frequently used by hackers and also on Twitter, when he said the FBI site had been “down” for nearly five hours.

Police were able to link him to what had been going on when he used his IP address to check how effective the attacks had been.

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