Brit Sentenced in Motorcycle Trader Site Hack

The head of a British website design company faces 100 hours of community service and £7,500 in restitution after pleading guilty to hacking into the British Motorcycle Trader website, according to published reports.

Five months' jail time was suspended for Mark Hopkins, 31, who pleaded guilty in July to unauthorized access to computer systems, offenses contrary to section one of Britain's Computer Misuse Act, according to the IT publication The Register. Hopkins was also ordered at an Aug. 9 sentencing hearing to pay £5,000 compensation to his victim, Motorcycle Trader publisher ME Publishing Ltd., and £2,500 court costs.

The case began in September 2005 when ME's web consultancy told the company hackers had broken into its website, The attack shut down the Motorcycle Trader other ME websites for days while IT assessed the attack, in which sensitive information was downloaded.

Consultants for ME traced the attack to a PC in the offices of NXGN Limited, a web service provider to companies including Motorcycle News, British Dealer News, Yamaha, Suzuki, Triumph and Fish4Bikes, among others.

NXGN denied involvement, ME turned its files over to the Metropolitan Police and Mark Hopkins, managing director of NXGN, was arrested and charged, the Register reported.