Teenager admits spamming insurance firm

A British teenager was given a two-month curfew and subjected to electronic tagging after admitting a mass email attack against a major insurance company that had earlier sacked him, an AFP report said.


The report said David Lennon admitted sending around 5 million emails over a 5-day period in 2004, leading to the collapse of the Domestic and General Group's mail server, which processed company emails in Britain, France, Germany and Spain.


A youth court in Wimbledon, southwest London, was told the disruption had cost the company around 30,000 pounds ($57,000), according to AFP.


The emails were made to look like they came from employees and the head of Microsoft, Bill Gates. They also contained a quote from the supernatural film "The Ring," the report said.


The teenager from Bedworth, west central England pleaded guilty to a charge under Britain's Computer Misuse Act of "causing an unauthorized modification to a computer," according to the report.


Lennon was 16 at the time of the offense and a former part-time employee of the insurance firm, the report said.


He was dismissed from the company in 2003, the report said.


The Metropolitan Police's Computer Crime Unit said it was the first time a successful prosecution had been brought for this type of offense, the AFP report further said.