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Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 August 2006, 14:39 GMT 15:39 UK
Mass e-mail attack teen sentenced
A teenager who bombarded a firm with millions of e-mails, causing its server to collapse, has been given a two-month curfew after pleading guilty.

In early 2004, David Lennon, 19, sent five million e-mails to the Domestic & General Group, a UK-based insurance company.

On Wednesday, Lennon, of Bedworth, Warwickshire, pleaded guilty to Section 3 of the Computer Misuse Act.

Lennon was a part-time employee of the company before he was sacked in 2003.

Successful prosecution

Known in the industry as a "denial of service" attack, the mass e-mails not only collapsed the server and the router but caused the firm to lose an estimated 30,000.

DCI Charlie McMurdie, head of the Metropolitan Police's Computer Crime Unit, said: "This is the first successful prosecution in the UK for this type of offence.

"This demonstrates the commitment of the MPS Computer Crime Unit to work with industry to prosecute individuals who use technology to cause harm."

The mail server was responsible for processing the company's e-mails in the UK, Germany, Spain and France.

Lennon's e-mails purported to originate from company employees, including Microsoft head, Bill Gates.

They contained a quote from the horror film The Ring.

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