Laptop engineer jailed after Sky News sting

News 9 Aug, 2010

A Sky News reporter has caught out a snooping laptop engineer who tried to hack into a computer he was supposedly fixing.

A laptop engineer has been jailed for nine months after being caught out by a Sky News sting.

Grzegorz Zachodni, who was working at Laptop Revival, pleaded guilty to fraud after he attempted to hack into a Sky reporter’s bank account using details stolen from her computer.

"Hopefully this conviction will be a warning to the computer repair industry that the copying or use of customers' private and personal information is not acceptable and the Metropolitan Police Economic and Specialist Crime Directorate will endeavour to prosecute any person found to have committed offences regarding these abuses," said DC Chris Young, the investigating officer.

The reporter was looking into the quality of service at laptop repair shops and took in her computer with a loose memory chip to be fixed.

The laptop contained hidden software in it that recorded which files were viewed and what websites were visited, while taking images through an integrated webcam.

Personal photos of the reporter, including ones of her in a bikini, were stored on the computer along with login details to eBay, Facebook and NatWest.

The shop called her to tell her the laptop required a new motherboard, but she declined the repair.

When she returned to Laptop Revival, the reporter was told the computer had been fixed but she would not be charged as no permission was given for the alterations.

The covert software found Zachodni had only worked on the computer for 20 minutes and in that time had viewed various files and saved passwords and login details. He also took two of the bikini snaps.

Police are cracking down hard on cyber crime and last week saw six arrested in relation to a phishing network which is thought to have compromised 20,000 bank accounts and credit cards.