GhostMarket woman jailed for ‘cutting edge’ hacking skills
Summary of story from the Guardian 02.02.11
Two women are among five young people sentenced for running the £16m internet crime forum GhostMarket.
GhostMarket member, Shakira Ricardo, 21, of Swansea, has received an 18-month sentence at London’s Southwark crown court after admitting conspiracy to commit fraud and acquiring criminal property.
The court was told that GhostMarket website was the ‘criminal equivalent of Facebook’, with links to huge losses from credit card details.
And Shakira Ricardo was described in court as a junior but trusted member of the website with an “appetite to learn” the ropes of computer hacking.
Her ability to control fraudulent activities from her iPhone was described as “cutting-edge”.
Shakira Ricardo and Samantha Worley, 22, a hairdresser, used two Halifax bank accounts to launder money from the website.
Ms Worley had admitted one charge of acquiring criminal property and was sentenced to 200 hours’ unpaid work at a previous hearing.
Nicholas Webber, the site’s owner and founder, was jailed for five years and site’s administrator, Ryan Thomas, for four years.
Gary Kelly, now 21, was also jailed for five years. He helped design software that broke into thousands of computers and stole valuable personal details.
Matthew McCabe, prosecuting, said: “There are professional hallmarks, a high level of profit, multiple victims, and the offending is over a significant period of time.
“The GhostMarket forum had approximately 8,000 members worldwide. It existed simply to facilitate the criminal trade in compromised credit cards, access to online bank accounts and distribution of malicious software and computer hacking tricks.”