A Dubai court has found a British computer hacker guilty of hacking into the mainframe of UAE’s communications provider Etisalat, a report said Sunday.
According to the daily paper Khaleej Times, the Dubai Appeal Court indicted Lee Alan Ashurst, 22, in two hacking cases of misusing Etisalat services through unauthorized entry of its internet system and breaking into private e-mails of Etisalat employees.
The paper added that the Dubai Misdemeanors Court had earlier found Ashurst not guilty on the charge of opening private e-mails of Etisalat employees as the word 'message' in law does not apply to "electronic messages" or e-mails, according to the text of Article 380 of the Penal Code.
But he was fined Dh10,000 ($2,700) on the second charge for repeatedly hacking into the UAE's Internet system, causing it to crash for days at a time.
Ashurst was convicted of the "misuse of the equipment, services or facilities provided by Etisalat [Emirates Telecommunications Corp.],” but was cleared of a second charge related to opening other people's mail.
The Dubai Court of First Instance also transferred his case to the civil courts where Etisalat is seeking compensation of Dh2.835 million ($800,000).
Ashurst was working as a computer engineer at a Dubai construction firm in May last year when he began hacking into Etisalat's systems.
Dubai’s Internet network crashed on several occasions over a month-long period, leaving thousands of individual and business users frustrated as they were unable to log on to the web or access their e-mail.
Etisalat engineers traced the phone line Ashurst and he was arrested in a police raid on his company-provided flat on June 14 last year.
Two hacking programs - Saint and John the Ripper - were found on his laptop computer, which police seized as evidence, along with books about how to hack into computer networks - Albawaba.com
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