A MAN has been jailed for targeting usernames and passwords online to hack into web services without having to pay.

John Johnson, 22, was sent down at Reading Crown Court yesterday after admitting 12 charges relating to computer misuse.

Thames Valley Police said Johnson, from The Knares in Essex, committed the offences between September 15, 2016 and June 30, 2017.

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The force said the 22 year old used software to get hold of usernames and passwords, to then gain access to various websites and services without paying for it.

He was involved in creating software for this purpose and as well as targeting companies.

Investigating officer, detective sergeant Phillip Walden, of the Cyber Crime Unit, said: “The true cost of this crime was the impact upon customers whose accounts were being used without their knowledge and the cost to companies of preventing these activities.

“On sentencing Johnson, the judge said it is vitally important to those who invest so much of themselves and personal data into the internet that they know the courts will protect and value their data to the highest degree.

"As such custody was the only option."

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Johnson pleaded guilty at a previous hearing to 11 counts of making, adapting, supplying or offering to supply an article intending that it should be used to commit or to assist in the commission of Computer Misuse Act offences, four counts of causing a computer to perform a function with intent to secure unauthorised access, and one count of obtaining an article intending to use it to commit or assist in the commission of Computer Misuse Act offences.

He was jailed for six months at the sentencing on Thursday, March 19, 2020.