Maunder may look a little Stupid, far from it, a Computer Whiz Kid?

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Co Down teen accused of cyber attacks on financial institutions world-wide to face trial

Computer ace Josh Maunder is accused of launching string of online attacks against major institutions before his 16th birthday

Josh Maunder
Josh Maunder

23rd August 2022 11:21

A teenage computer whizzkid charged with launching a series of cyber attacks on “hundreds of financial institutions” across the world will face trial.

Josh Maunder (19) is charged with a string of offences in relation to the online attacks which allegedly took place in 2017 and 2018.

During a preliminary hearing at Newtownards Magistrates Court on Thursday the case was referred to the Crown Court for a date to be fixed for trial. He denies the offences.

Court documents show the young man is facing 21 charges including a range of computer misuse offences and possession of articles in connection with fraud.

When approached previously, Maunder said he regrets some of his online activity in the past but vowed to fight the case.

He said: “I do intend to contest the charges, I was a stupid kid at the time, I have no idea how it’s going to pan out, my mum is handling it for me.

“I’ve always been into computers and stuff, I just always wanted to mess around.

“There was also an element of impressing your peers by showing what you could do online, some of it was pretty stupid and dumb but hopefully I can deal with it and move on.”

Maunder, from Bangor, Co Down, faces 13 charges of doing an unauthorised act impairing the operation of a computer, two counts each of making an article intended it to be used for computer misuse, obtaining an article to commit an offence and possessing articles in connection with fraud.

He also faces single counts of supplying an article to be used in computer misuse and conspiring to commit an unauthorised act.

All of the offences are alleged to have been committed between December 1, 2017 and 13 September 2018, when the defendant would have been in his early to mid teens.

None of the facts surrounding the allegations were opened in court last week, but during a previous legal aid related application, defence counsel Conor Holmes revealed some of the details.

He said the the Crown case is essentially Maunder “created a computer virus, sends it across the world and crashed hundreds of financial institutions”.

It is alleged when Maunder was 14 and 15-years-old he made a Distributed Denial of Service attack, better known as a DDoS, which he sent to multiple websites and servers.

These included servers belonging to Nationwide Building Society, UK and Czech police, Nuclear Fall Out gaming servers and the server hosting a high-profile boxing match between rapper KSI and YouTube star Logan Paul.

Maunder is also accused of having a computer program intending to use it to commit an offence and with having articles for fraud, including on one count email addresses and passwords relating to PayPal accounts in the UK, USA, Germany and China.

On another similar charge the teenager is alleged to have had ‘credit card details contained in a file’.

Returning the case to Downpatrick Crown Court, sitting in Belfast, District Judge Mark Hamill extended legal aid to allow the defence to instruct a senior QC but did not fix a date for Maunder’s arraignment. The case 

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