Teen Hacker Who Broke Into The Sun Website Now Fighting Cyber Crime

Teenage hacker who broke into The Sun newspaper's website and redirected users to a fake story saying media mogul Rupert Murdoch was dead is now a cybercrime fighter, a court has heard.

Darren Martyn was 19 years old when he, along with others, hacked into the News International website six years ago, Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard yesterday.

Darren Martyn (Left) Donnacha O Cearbhaill (Right)

He is described in court as “highly intelligent”, told gardaĆ­ he took part in the hacking in retaliation for the UK media company's involvement in the phone hacking scandal. He was a member of Lulzsec, a part of the Anonymous hacking group at the time, the court heard.

Martyn aged 24 with an address in Cloonbeggin, Claregalway, Co. Galway pleaded guilty to two counts of criminal damage to data that was the property of News International in July 2011.

His co-accused, Donncha O’Cearbhaill, last month received a suspended sentence for his part in the hacking.

Darren  Martyn is now a security researcher for a UK consultancy firm, the court heard. Judge Karen O'Connor remanded on continuing bail to May 24 for sentence.

Because of the the hacking, the websites of The Sun and its sister news sites, The Times and The Sunday Times were shut down for a few hours. It took a further three weeks to fully restore the website and deal with security vulnerabilities, Gda Brennan said.

“Mr Martyn is someone who is highly intelligent,” Mr Mulrooney said. “He knew what he was doing was wrong, however at the time he thought it was acceptable. He no longer holds that view and he apologises for what he did.”

“He is now using the significant skills he has to prevent cyber crime,” Mr Mulrooney said.

He urged Judge O'Connor to consider imposing a non-custodial sentence, saying the chances of Martyn re-offending were “very slim”.