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28 October 2014
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Cal Leeming

Poacher-turned-gamekeeper, Cal Leeming.

Hackers

Former computer hacker Cal Leeming talks to BBC1 "Crimewatch" presenter Rav Wilding about his work with companies to keep hackers out of computer databases. Cal, from Coventry, was arrested for internet identity theft when he was a teenager.

Computer Genius

By hacking into and downloading data from the internet, Cal Leeming was able to steal details and money from thousands of credit cards.      

Described by Wiltshire police as a 'computer genius' at the time of his arrest, the officer eventually responsible for catching Cal warned that while hacking might be a faceless crime, it leaves a lasting impression on its victims.

One victim of internet fraud, Clare Jones from Birmingham, lost £400 in three weeks when internet fraudsters found her credit card details and used them to pay their own bills online.

Clare Jones

Clare lost £400 to internet fraudsters.

Not quite understanding where her money was suddenly disappearing to, as a young student, the sudden loss of earnings was a shock for Clare:

"It is a big impact when you suddenly realise you have £400 missing."

Not for financial gain

But while Cal’s victims were left equally devastated by fraud, he insists he didn't start hacking just to steal money:

"One of the companies I hacked into, they had a lot of credit cards on their database... I threatened to tell everyone off their email list that I had hacked into them, to warn them.

"I wasn't trying to get any financial gain out of it... I just wanted them to admit they were at fault."

Hand on computer keyboard

In 2007 alone, £23m was stolen from people across the UK because hackers stole their details.

But as a reformed hacker, Cal now hopes to continue working to ensure companies are protected against the increasing risk of internet fraud:

"I now work to protect these companies against hackers... against internal staff that are malicious.

"I help every single aspect of a company’s infrastructure."

last updated: 11/08/2008 at 14:41
created: 10/04/2008

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