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Bitcoin blackmailer pleads guilty

04 September 2014  |  4289 views  |  0 Bitcoin

A 22-year old man who threatened to publish the details of thousands of phished Lloyds bank accounts unless he was paid £270,000 in bitcoins, has pleaded guilty to blackmail, possession of articles for use in fraud and possession of indecent images of children.

Lewys Martin, of no fixed abode, but previously from Deal in Kent, contacted Lloyds Bank in May 2013 threatening to release the details of 28,000 account holders to The Sun newspaper. Martin demanded one bitcoin for every ten accounts he was holding on a memory card.

Anonymisation software had been used to hide the blackmailer's identity and a sample of the phished bank accounts was enclosed to back up his threats.

Upon arrest, Martin was found to be in posession of the compromised personal banking data and three malware-based phishing programs designed to steal personal details and data. A number of indecent images of children were also discovered which were not connected to the blackmail investigation.

Detective Chief Inspector Jason Tunn of the Metropolitan Police Cyber Crime Unit says: "Martin was not able to defeat the bank's security systems but instead chose to target his phishing activity at retail customers. I would like to remind the public to remain safe online and further security and safety advice can be sought from GetSafeonline.org."

Martin will be sentenced on 16 December at Southwark Crown Court.

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