Leeds & West Yorkshire

Jet2 cyber-attack: IT worker with grudge jailed

Scott Burns Image copyright West Yorkshire Police
Image caption Scott Burns was jailed for 10 months after previously pleading guilty to eight counts under the Computer Misuse Act

A former Jet2 IT contractor with a grudge has been jailed for a cyber-attack on the company.

Scott Burns, 27, of Queen Street in Morley, Leeds, was jailed for 10 months for his actions, which cost the company £165,000.

The attack shut down Jet2's computer network for 12 hours in January 2018.

Burns wanted revenge for the firm's treatment of him following an incident at a 2017 "Benidorm roadshow", Leeds Crown Court heard.

Details about happened at the event in Benidorm were not outlined in court.

The court heard only fast-thinking by one employee at the Leeds-based airline stopped Burns' actions being a "complete disaster" for Jet2.

Burns pleaded guilty to eight counts under the Computer Misuse Act at a previous hearing.

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Judge Andrew Stubbs QC told Burns: "You intended to cause as much damage to Jet2's computer system as you could.

"This went far beyond being mischievous. This was a revenge attack for a perceived slight you had suffered."

Judge Stubbs said he needed to send a message about the "pernicious and far-reaching impact" of cyber-crime to "those minded to commit this type of offence".

Prosecutor Rebecca Austin told the court Burns used logins he still had to access the system and delete all user accounts, including those with admin privileges.

She said another IT employee managed to create a new hidden admin account as the attack was happening, allowing accounts to be rebuilt from a back-up and averting "complete disaster".

She said Burns also accessed the email account of Jet2 chief executive Steve Heapey.

Jamie Horncastle, from the National Crime Agency, said: "Network intrusion is not a victimless crime. Not only did Burns' actions have a potential financial impact on Jet2, it caused huge disruption to their staff and technical operations."

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