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Police issue cyber advice to businesses as Surrey man sentenced

A specialist policing unit has issued cyber security advice aimed at businesses, after a man from Surrey was sentenced for his involvement in setting up a website that allowed customers to anonymously attack other websites.

The South East Regional Organised Crime Unit (SEROCU) has issued the guidance following the conviction of 20-year-old Joseph Connolly, of Cedars, Banstead, who was sentenced on Tuesday (5/5) at Guildford Crown Court for providing a service to target websites and users, whilst also laundering the profit he made.

Connolly helped set up a website named SuperiorStresser, which offered ‘Distributed-Denial-of-Service’ (DDoS) packages that allowed customers to pay to anonymously attack other websites or users. He worked with two other main individuals who both reside in the US. Both are juveniles and still under investigation by the FBI.

He then laundered the financial gain from those using the websites to commit criminal offences.

Connolly was offering a type of cyber-attack which could take down company websites and cause permanent damage, financial loss and reputational damage to individuals and businesses.

This is an example of how people can drift into cybercrime by not knowing what the boundaries are to using their digital skills. It’s important to be familiar with the law to help the next generation of cyber experts to stay on the right side of it.

I’d like to remind the public and businesses alike that criminals are experts at impersonating people, organisations and the police. They will spend hours researching your business, hoping you will let your guard down for just a moment, and will try and gain access to your device or network, and everything stored on it. Once they have access to your device and your data, they may try to steal it.

Detective Inspector Rob Bryant, from the SEROCU Cyber Team