Facebook Hack Nets Eight Month Prison Sentence

    February 19, 2012

Facebook doesn’t take too kindly to being hacked. This was made rather apparent this week when a young man was sentenced to eight months in prison for hacking the social networking site.

Reuters is reporting that Glenn Mangham, a 26-year-old British student, said that he hacked Facebook from his parent’s house last year. The hack was apparently so severe that Facebook thought that they were dealing with “major industrial espionage.”

“This was the most extensive and flagrant incidence of social media hacking to be brought before British courts,” Alison Saunders, London’s Chief Prosecutor, said. “Fortunately, this did not involve any personal user data being compromised.”

Facebook took notice of the hack in April of last year and called the FBI to track the source. Once confirming the source of the hack, British police raided the home of Mangham in June.

This apparently was caused by Mangham wanting to help Facebook improve their security. He had reportedly once been hired by Yahoo to improve their security. The explanation was tossed out by the prosecution. They said that the hack couldn’t be anything but malicious.

What may have been a major factor in the case is that Facebook had reportedly spent $200,000 in dealing with the hack.

The judge made a point to use Mangham as an example to other would-be hackers by saying that these kind of attacks have “real consequences” and could be “utterly disastrous” for Web sites like Facebook.

The lesson to be learned in all of this is that you shouldn’t hack a Web site unless you’re hired by them to improve their security. Don’t just hack a Web site hoping to get a job with their security team. You’re more than likely going to end up in prison.