Autistic Man Hacked Sports Direct Website To Get Employment

The retail giant Sports Direct’s website went down for 30m minutes which cost them the loss of sales of approx. £48,000 (USD 61540) to £50,000 (USD 64105). We already informed you that the retail giant suffered the data breach in February this year, but the latest report is quite surprising. Jason Polyik, the hacker responsible for shutting down Sports Direct, states that he did so because he wanted the firm to employ him.

The loss for the company wasn’t restricted to sales only as the company had to spend £15,000 in consultancy fees to get the vulnerability in their system fixed. Joe Harvey, mitigating, told Derby Telegraph that the 27-year old Polyik probably was searching for a vulnerability in their site believing that just like Google and Amazon, where hiring people who successfully identified flaws in computer systems, Sports Direct will also offer him employment.

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“He is a talented graphic artist, but no-one wanted to work with him because of his social issues. He is socially awkward and on the autism spectrum. He has honed and shaped his skills over a number of years,” explained Harvey.

Sports Direct isn’t the only company targeted by Polyik, but he also exploited another firm’s system. In that particular hack attack, Polyik exploited the system in a way that when its chief executive turned his laptop on, a sinister laughter welcomed him with an image of The Joker from the movie Batman.

Autistic Man Hacked Sports Direct Website To Get Employment
Jason Polyik – Image credit: Derby Telegraph

The motive behind the hacking was to show how easy it was to hack the system that they have been using. Polyik conducted the hacking spree between July and September 2016.

However, his hacking obsession has landed him in jail as Polyik has been sentenced a 10-month long prison term and also received a suspension for a year. According to Judge Peter Cooke, Polyik carried out “determined hacking” by shutting down the Sports Direct website because of which the company had to bear the loss of thousands of pounds and pay a “significant” amount for getting the problem fixed.

Simon Ash, prosecution attorney, stated that Polyik accessed more than one systems on Sports Direct website due to which the site went down for 30 minutes while the second firm targeted by the 27-year old had to make changes to its server in Montreal, Canada. Mr. Ash further noted that after performing the hacks, Polyik left his mobile number and email address on both targeted websites believing that the companies would consider employing him after realizing his hacking skills.

However, the companies alerted the law enforcement, and resultantly, Polyik was arrested.

The Central Drive, Shirebrook resident Polyik pleaded guilty to a charge of unauthorized accessing of computer material.

Detective Inspector Steve Roberts, who is associated with East Midlands Special Operations Unit’s Cyber Crime Unit, stated after Polyik was sentenced that the accused performed a “serious intrusion.”

“Stealing data across cyber space is as significant as physically taking a hard copy paper file from a locked cabinet. It is a form of theft and a serious intrusion.”

Detective Roberts also said that this kind of breaches that affect high-profile organizations are causing damages on a national scale and pose “real threat” to privacy and security of users.

Source: Derby Telegraph

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