Cyber attacker of National Lottery operator Camelot is jailed

A man who targeted the National Lottery website in a cyber attack has been jailed for two years.

In March 2018, National Lottery operator Camelot, which has its head office based in Tolpits Lane, Watford, became victim of a cyber attack which tried to access 684 different accounts.

Emmanuel Akala, 29, of Browning Street in South London, used compromised login details in an attempt to access accounts with the intention of finding further personal information of players, including bank details.

Despite Camelot flagging and blocking the unusual online activity, Akala continued the attacks.

However Akala was only able to gain access to 11 of the 684 desired accounts, and none of the victims had lost any money from the bypass.

The Eastern Region Special Operations Unit (ERSOU) worked with Camelot to identify the locations of the attacks, and eventually Akala’s involvement was discovered.

He was arrested in April 2019 and a number of his devices were seized and examined.

Akala was charged with two counts of fraud by false representation and two counts of unauthorised computer access with intent, and at a St Albans Crown Court hearing, was sentenced to two years imprisonment after admitting the offences.

Detective Inspector Graham Paul said: “Although Akala was stopped from profiting financially, his intention to try and access personal information with the purpose of defrauding people is clear to see.

“Working alongside other organisations, we’re committed to ensuring that those looking to fraudulently obtain the public’s personal data and use it for illicit purposes are investigated fully and put before the courts.”

Camelot’s chief information security officer, David Boda, said: “Keeping National Lottery players’ online accounts safe and secure is of the utmost importance to us. As soon as we identified the unusual activity, we immediately reported it and then worked closely with ERSOU’s Cyber Crime Unit throughout the investigation.

“Although no National Lottery players lost any money, we’re really pleased to see the case reach its conclusion, and would like to thank colleagues in ERSOU, the Crown Prosecution Service and the National Cyber Security Centre for their assistance in this case.”

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