Computer geek nicknamed 'Speedy' accused of hacking Amazon servers after being fired
A furious computer geek bitter about getting sacked became a hacker and wiped out servers belonging to the online giant Amazon, a court heard today.
Steffan Needham, 35, is accused of targeting Amazon's cloud-based computers which stored his former employer's technical data.
His trial heard he caused thousands of pounds worth of harm in around one week in May 2016.
The jury at Reading Crown Court was today told Needham was released from his contract with digital marketing and software company Voova after a month's trial when the firm became concerned by his below-par performance,.
Richard Moss, prosecuting, said Needham hacked into his colleague Andy Gonzalez's computer account, used the login "Speedy" and began altering the account settings in the days after his dismissal.
And he then allegedly began deleting Voova online servers, hosted by online giants Amazon Web Services.
Mark Bond, Voova CEO, told the court the company provided services to transport companies, the biggest of which was Coachline.com, and told the jury the group's chief executive was present in Voova's Thailand headquarters when staff realised they were losing servers during the hack.
It led to the company losing huge contracts with transport companies.
But Needham went undetected for months after the alleged attack until his arrest in March 2017, when he was working for DevOpsConsulting.co.uk in Manchester.
He was charged with one count of unauthorised access to computer material and one count of unauthorised modification of computer material, a count he denies.
But Mr Moss today added: "What has occurred is user Steffan Needham accesses Amazon Web Services for Voova, changed Mr Gonzalez password and secured his user login 'Speedy'.
"He has then terminated servers, checked the settings and logged out. They were done by the defendant, who used the Speedy login covering up that it was he deleting the servers.
"One thing experts agree on is that security could have been better at Voova... there was no multi-factor authentication, a means of confirming the user ID which requires a user to verify their identification by something they know or possess.
"Experts agree that the user login accessed AWS Voova and the user login Speedy terminated servers. What they disagree on is whether the evidence shows it was the defendant - there are three key areas of dispute between experts."One, whether the termination of the servers was deliberate... two, whether the same person carried out the action described on May 17 to 18 2016... and three, IP address 252. The prosecution say there is evidence this defendant was using this ID address."
Needham, from Atherton, Greater Manchester, sat with a furrowed brow as the prosecutor outlined the case today.
His trial continues.