Stockport student charged over global cyber attacks

A student has been charged with supplying malware used in a string of high-profile cyber attacks.

Jack Chappell, 18, from Stockport, is accused of running a web business supplying software used to attack the websites of several multinational firms, including Amazon and Vodafone.

Among the websites that Chappell allegedly attacked are the National Crime Agency, the BBC, BT and Netflix.

Chappell is due to appear at Manchester Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.

Prosecutors allege the teenager supplied denial of service software, which crashes websites by flooding them with huge volumes of data, and ran an online helpdesk for would-be hackers.

He was charged following an investigation led by the West Midlands Regional Cyber Crime Unit, assisted by Israeli Police, the FBI and Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre.

West Midlands Police said Chappell was accused of helping cyber-criminals target websites around the world, including a 2015 attack on NatWest that affected the bank’s online systems.

In a statement confirming the charges, the force added: “He has been charged with impairing the operation of computers under the Computer Misuse Act, plus encouraging or assisting an offence and money laundering crime proceeds together with an American national.”

None of the denial of service attacks Chappell is alleged to have been behind led to the theft or loss of any customer data, police said.