Infamous hacker Eliott Gunton, who has been found guilty and convicted in the past for his role in the TalkTalk hack in 2015 and for hijacking the computer systems of Australian telecom giant Telstra, has now been indicted in the United States for breaching the website of cryptocurrency exchange EtherDelta.
19-year-old Elliott Gunton, who hails from Norwich, has been indicted in the United States along with New York-based Anthony Tyler Nashatka for infiltrating the website of cryptocurrency exchange EtherDelta and tweaking the site's DNS settings to route site visitors to a fraudulent website in order to steal their cryptocurrency addresses and private keys.
The breach of EtherDelta took place on December 2017 and as a result of the hack, an EtherDelta customer lost $800,000 (£640,000) after typing in their credentials in the spoof website creeted by Gunton and Nashatka. Hundreds of other EtherDelta customers also lost cryptocurrency to the two hackers between December 20 and 26, 2017.
Both hackers have now been indicted by the United States District Court on various counts of aggravated identity theft, computer fraud, and conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
Elliott Gunton committed multiple cyber crimes as a minor
In August this year, Gunton was found guilty by Norwich Crown Court for illegally gaining access to the computer systems of Australian telecom major Telstra and hijacking the Instagram account of Australian designer Phil Darwen.
Gunton was sentenced to twenty months in custody but was immediately released after his time spent on remand was taken into account by the court. However, if he is found guilty by US courts for cryptocurrency fraud, he could be sentenced to up to twenty years in prison.
"If the charges against Elliott Gunton are upheld he could face a lengthy prison sentence, which is clearly intended to make him realise his crimes were not worth it. Law enforcement are clamping down on cybercrime and the risk of getting caught is greater than ever," says Edgard Capdevielle, CEO of Nozomi Networks.
"While there can be no denying hacking tools are increasing in sophistication, the tools law enforcement use to track cybercriminals are also improving. We are likely to continue to see more and more perpetrators charged for cybercrimes, making hackers think twice before launching attacks as tracks will always be left," he adds.
Back in 2017, Gunton, then a minor, was awarded a year-long youth rehabilitation order after the court found him to be behind the massive TalkTalk data breach which took place in 2015. As per the court order, Gunton discovered vulnerabilities in TalkTalk's computer systems and shared details of the same on hacker forums. As a result, TalkTalk's website was targeted as many as 14,000 times by hackers.