College students first to be successfully prosecuted here for hacking

College students first to be successfully prosecuted here for hacking: TWO students have admitted hacking Fine Gael’s website – in the weeks leading up to the 2011 general election – as a “stunt” to embarrass the party.

Computer experts Darren Martyn (21) from Cloonbeggin, Claregalway, Galway, and 20-year-old Donncha O Cearrbhail from The Ring, Birr, Co. Offaly are the first to be successfully prosecuted in Ireland for computer hacking and will be sentenced in October.

The high-tech whizzkids, who used the online aliases ‘Raepsauce’ and ‘Palladium’, had been identified by the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation in conjunction with US law enforcement agency the FBI, Dublin District Court heard.

They pleaded guilty today to criminal damage to the website, which was defaced, had its database stolen and was knocked offline for 24 hours after it was hacked on January 9, 2011 – seven weeks before the general election.


The site’s subscribers’ database was stolen and published on the internet and was also sent to a journalist.

The site was inaccessible for 24 hours and according to Fine Gael it cost €10,000 to get it up and running again. No one suffered as a result of the subscriber list data being taken, the judge also noted.