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Sussex-based computer hacker reveals he wanted to impress
A computer hacker who posed as pop star Justin Bieber’s girlfriend has spoken of his crime for the first time.
Gareth Crosskey told a Channel 4 documentary how he tricked his way into Selena Gomez’s Facebook account to impress other online hackers.
The 21-year-old was jailed for 12 months for the stunt, which triggered a torrent of hate mail aimed at the teenage star.
Crosskey, from Avon Close, Sompting, appeared on the documentary Don’t Blame Facebook on Tuesday night.
He described how he had begun hacking and in January 2011 was challenged online to break into Facebook.
He chose Miss Gomez, who was then 19, because of her relationship with Mr Bieber.
He said: “You’re just thinking of it as a challenge, you don’t think about the consequences. You don’t think about the reactions, or what impact it could cause on a person.”
Crosskey posed as Miss Gomez’s father to obtain log-in details from Facebook.
He posted a message saying: “Justin Bieber sucks”.
Miss Gomez immediately received hundreds of thousands of comments.
The FBI investigated the incident, tracing Crosskey’s activity where Sussex Police and the Metropolitan Police’s central e-crime unit took over.
Crosskey told the documentary: “I knew I was in trouble when my house got raided at 6 o’clock in the morning. They seized everything, my computers, my family’s computers, laptops, iPhones, my phone.”
Crosskey admitted crimes under the Computer Misuse Act, including causing a computer to perform a function to secure unauthorised access to data and intending to impair the operation of a computer.
He was given a 12-month prison sentence at Southwark Crown Court in May last year.
He told the documentary: “As soon as he said my sentence, I was handcuffed.
“I arrived at Wandsworth Prison. It is the emotion of being trapped, you know you can’t go nowhere.”
After his sentencing, the Metropolitan Police issued a statement saying: “The result should act as a deterrent to any individuals thinking of participating in this type of activity.”
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