Man who targeted police in cyber attack is jailed

Published on: 20 Aug 2019

A man who targeted the police in two separate cyber attacks has received a prison sentence for his criminal activity.

Liam Reece Watts, 20, used specialist software to launch distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks in August 2018 and March 2019 on Greater Manchester Police and Cheshire Police websites respectively.

Both events were designed to overload the sites and make them inaccessible, which he said was in response to a previous conviction over a bomb hoax he had made shortly after the Manchester Arena bombing.

Mr Watts was traced via a Twitter account, which he used to claim responsibility for the DDoS attacks and to brag about his exploits.

He has now pleaded guilty at Chester Crown Court to two counts of unauthorised acts with intent to impair operation of or prevent or hinder access to a computer.

Judge Patrick Thompson sentenced him to 16 months in a young offenders' institution and called the crimes "an attack on law and order in this country".

Mr Watts had previously been convicted of unauthorised use of a computer when he perpetrated a similar attack on his college.