back to article Now Uncle Sam would like a word with Brit teen TalkTalk hacker about a huge crypto-coin heist

One of the teens behind the 2015 hack on UK telco TalkTalk has been indicted in the US over a huge cryptocurrency heist. Elliott Gunton, 19, is facing five separate charges ranging from computer fraud and abuse to wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. Potential penalties for the offences range from two to 20 years in …

  1. NoneSuch Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    "He was ordered to hand that money to police."

    Crime does not pay. Unless you are a government.

    1. James 51

      Or a multi-nation corporation or a politician with a base that has lost contact with reality.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I've long said

      Police should NOT be able to keep the money/cars/etc. they confiscate from criminals. That causes distortions in the types of crime they pursue and the choice of criminals they go after, and they're far more willing to do plea deals for lesser charges if the guy they arrested is willing to surrender assets even if they had nothing to do with the crime.

      There was a case where some pedophile got off light because he forfeited a second home and cars - he was just a "consumer" of kiddie porn so he didn't make a dime off it. They just wanted his stuff, and didn't care about justice. If that money was put into a pot that went to charity so the local or state government didn't get to keep the proceeds, they would not have had any incentive to make such a deal.

      1. FozzyBear

        Re: I've long said

        Not sure about the UK, but most jurisdictions where assets from criminals are seized go into the relevant government revenue accounts not the Police. Physical assets are sent to government auctions. Again proceeds go into government coffers.

        In NSW that "revenue" is used to fund state government initiatives such as drug addiction programs and victim of crime groups. One of the few moves the government has made I agree with.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I've long said

          Unfortunately in the US in most cases it goes right into the police budgets, and whether they use it to buy stuff they'd normally never get approved to buy with taxpayer money or to simply supplement their ordinary budget it is bad. The latter because the police come to depend on it and it becomes something the public is expected to make up if it falls short, i.e. if they use it to hire more cops.

          Happened around here with speed camera money. The state decided a nearby city was not operating its speed cameras in accordance with state law and made them shut them down. They 'lost' several million dollars in revenue over a couple years of court fight, and the local police was after the city to make up the difference because they'd used it to hire additional cops beyond the total authorized in the city budget. The city refused, the police union sued, and it was a big mess. Police shouldn't get to keep the proceeds from speed/red light cameras either...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The police printed it out and put it in an evidence bag.

  2. My-Handle Silver badge

    Ok, so since he was 16 (and in no particular order) he...

    - was convicted of hacking TalkTalk

    - found guilty of money laundering & computer misuse in Norwich

    - arrested for accessing Telestra's systems and siezing control of an instagram account

    - found to be in breach of his SHPO

    - and hacked cloudflare to break in to EtherDelta

    He's currently 19. So while he seems to have a real talent for committing crimes, he doesn't seem all that good at not getting caught. At this point I bet the police just check up on him as a matter of course when a computer crime is reported.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Round up the usual cyber-suspects!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      He's not very good at doing a runner. That's the only way to not get caught.

      His mistake was staying put.

  3. Chris G

    If he wants to stay out of US accommodations, he should try to sign up as quickly as possible with 77 Brigade, if they'll have him it should keep him out of extradition as well as making use of his 'talents'.

    1. Mephistro

      I'd suggest to the 77 Brigade's big honchos that they put him to work in a closed cubicle, watched by four CCTV cameras, cavity searched at entry and exit and also at random intervals, and with a big portrait of J. Christ in one of the walls.

      Although that's probably the way they already treat their workers!


    2. Mark 85

      Rejoice that he's an idiot.

      He might (a big might) have talents but no common sense. Seems way too many of these (clowns seems a bit harsh so I'll use "folks") folks stay in one location like Mom's basement which allows law enforcement to track them easily. Which is good for us and bad for the crims.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And, as if by magic...

    The Old Bill found "indecent images of children" on his laptop, please fuck off!

    1. The inference that there must have been "worse" pictures there once cos he had deletion/wipe applications on his PC

    2. I seriously doubt there were any that weren't added after arrest, or at worst as he was 16, they could have been pics of his girlfriend, if she's under 18 he's screwed, in both senses. The UK has some fucked up laws on this shite

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The Old Bill found "indecent images of children" on his laptop

      Worth checking out what the law thinks "indecent" is before you start organising a lynch mob.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: COPINE

        From your link, the following replaced the SAP scale for use in the UK

        Category A - Images involving penetrative sexual activity and/or images involving sexual activity with an animal or sadism

        Category B - Images involving non-penetrative sexual activity

        Category C - Other indecent images not falling within categories A or B = SAP level 2 - sex between children or solo masturbation

        So "indecent" can include him sleeping with [his] under 18 girlfriend or pics she sent him of her spending some happy time alone, no?

        So, yes, I'm still up for lynching the New Puritans that make life-long criminals of children, that remain on the sex offenders register because their under 18 girlfriend sexts them.

        On the other hand he could be a monster, but the shout of "paedo" is a slur that never goes away, regardless of the truth

        1. MiguelC Silver badge

          Re: COPINE

          From that categorization it could even be pics of himself masturbating

          1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

            Okay, let me imagine a world where that is acceptable. Now I have one question : what kind of twisted sexual pervert takes pics of himself while trying to reach sexual release ?

            Not to put too fine a point on it, but if I'm choking the one-eyed snake, I am paying attention to a video, a slideshow or a bunch of pictures, i am most definitely not fiddling around trying to make a fucking selfie.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              It's not all about you.

              1. veti Silver badge

                I'd say, when you're doing that - it really is.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: COPINE

          There's some confusion going on here between legality and sentencing guidelines. Anything on the COPINE scale may be deemed illegal, although there can be some latitude at the lower end depending on circumstances and whether they've decided to throw the book at you or not (which is possibly the case in point here).

          But it's OK in English law to have indecent images of your 16 year old spouse or partner as long as you're living with them, can't say for the rest of the UK though.

        3. Cederic Silver badge

          Re: COPINE

          It's slightly worse than you suggest. A cartoon image depicting a 17 year old character in a sexual manner is illegal.

          Which is why I no longer go anywhere near hentai sites.

    2. JJKing

      Re: And, as if by magic...

      The Old Bill found "indecent images of children" on his laptop,

      Wasn't there a case a few years back in where else but Murica where a 14 year old girl took a topless selfie of HERSELF and was charged with having child porn on her phone. Burn the depraved child who has a photo of herself but it is ok if corrupt politicians fill their pockets with taxpayer and lobbyist money.

  5. katrinab Silver badge

    Would the "file deletion tools be things like"




    ie the standard tools that come with every operating system.

    1. Crazy Operations Guy

      Or the more secure "dd if=/dev/random of=/file/to/be/deleted count=$FILE_SIZE" which would prevent any undelete tool from working (Unless you have a COW-type file system and the file you want to delete is in the source image).

  6. GnuTzu


    An, Internet security company hacked?!?!? {Insert apocalyptic trope here.}

  7. tiggity Silver badge

    800k account emptied

    Someones 800K account was emptied: I'm sure theres lots of legit reasons to have an account with 800k bitcoin in it....

    But it is possible the young crims might need to be fearful of not just the law but possible revenge from crims with associates not averse to a bit of violence.

    1. katrinab Silver badge

      Re: 800k account emptied

      Do they use the same valuation methods for bitcoin that they use for drugs, where 25mg of cocaine has a "street value" of £800k? Or was it 800,000 satoshis, which are worth about £50?

  8. Miss Config

    Enforcing Cryptocurrency ?

    I hope nobody is mixing up two separate issues here.

    Hacking into a computer is a crime of course and should be dealt with according to law.

    BUT it should NOT matter to the law whether the accounts in question had 2 bitcoin or 2 MILLION bitcoin.

    Because if it did that would mean the feds were enforcing the value of cryptocurrencies, which central banks at least are NOT happy to do.

  9. cantankerous swineherd

    a teenager can carry out massive heists on tne internet. what this tells me is that the internet is fcuked.

  10. bigtreeman


    Far in,

    Yesterday I used dd to clear two partitions,

    I didn't realise that was a crime.

    we'd all better dd dd.

  11. Ole Juul

    story pic rocks

    That header pic has got to be one of the best here.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: story pic rocks

      Is she an El Reg employee? Great gig.

      1. katrinab Silver badge

        Re: story pic rocks

        Looks like a stock photo. She appears in lots of finance related articles all over the world.

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