Schoolboy 'hacked into newspaper share index'

A SCHOOLBOY computer hacker caused 'considerable disruption' after keying into a vital database at a national newspaper which held the FT-SE 100 share index, Southwark Crown Court in south London was told yesterday.

Paul Bedworth, now 19, was said to have used a pounds 200 microcomputer at his home in Ilkley, West Yorkshire, to dial up the Financial Times's network and introduce a rogue program into the high-tech system, the court was told.

In the process he allegedly deleted an important file, landed the organisation with a bill of several thousand pounds and forced computer managers to take a 'crucial' system out of service while the damage was repaired.

Tony Johnson, the FT's head of computers, said he discovered the electronic intrusion in May 1991. He found that the system, which held important statistics including the share index and was essential to the paper's daily production, had been tampered with.

A continual dialling program, which scanned computer networks, had been introduced. 'There was an outgoing call dialling every second - there were thousands of calls made,' he said. A password file was also deleted.

Mr Johnson told the court it landed the FT with a telephone bill of pounds 705. But the total cost to the FT was much higher - pounds 24,871. 'We had to take out the affected computer and rent another. It caused considerable disruption,' he said.

Ian Macdonald QC, for the defence, asked Mr Johnson: 'You need special cards to get in even if you are a visitor, but so far as the computer is concerned, that did not have the same security?'

Mr Johnson said: 'It had a level of security where people could access only to deliver information to the computer.' He disagreed when Mr Macdonald suggested: 'The physical security simply was not matched (by the computer)?'

Mr Bedworth, now studying artificial intelligence at Edinburgh University, denies three conspiracy charges under the Computer Misuse Act 1990, alleging unauthorised modification of computer information, securing unauthorised access to computer information and obtaining telegraphic services unlawfully.

The trial continues today.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Personal Tax Senior

£28000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Recruitment Genius: Customer and Markets Development Executive

£22000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company's mission is to ma...

Recruitment Genius: Guest Services Assistant

£13832 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This 5 star leisure destination on the w...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Account Manager

£20000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Account Manager is requ...

Day In a Page

A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory