A British computer expert has admitted stealing the credit card details of 400 users of the online payments service PayPal, the Daily Mail reports.
Edward Pearson admitted accessing the data in court yesterday. He also admitted illegally accumulating personal data of 800 million individuals, using software that he had written himself,
At Southwark Crown Court, Pearson pleaded guilty to three counts of fraud. His girlfriend admitted telling staff at two luxury hotels in York that she would use the stolen credit card details to make payments.
The couple, who also face drug dealing charges, stand accused of plotting fraud worth £350,000. They are now awaiting sentence.
Also this week, a York-based programming student was sentenced to eight months in jail for hacking into Facebook. Glenn Mangham, 26, argued that his hacking had been ethical, saying he wanted to show Facebook how to improve its security.
Despite acknowledging that Mangham had not wished to steal any information from Facebook, Judge Alistair McCreath ruled that his actions were nevertheless illegal. "You and others who are tempted to act as you did really must understand how serious this is," McCreath said.