Spyware helps send child abuser to jail

Graham Cluley
Graham Cluley
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In a case reported in the British media, an ice-hockey coach has been jailed for four and a half years after being found guilty of having sex with an under-age girl. He was only caught after the teenage girl’s father installed spyware onto her PC.

38-year-old Nicholas Lovell met the 15-year-old girl after working as an ice-hockey teacher in 2006. Police had previously warned Guildford-based Lovell to not contact the girl, and he had signed an agreement to that effect.

However, the girl’s concerned parents – who cannot be identified for legal reasons – installed a monitoring program called WebWatcher onto her PC to keep an eye on her online activities. The spyware recorded emails and instant messages between the girl and Lovell, providing enough evidence for the police to make an arrest.

According to reports, the…

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Graham Cluley is a veteran of the cybersecurity industry, having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of cybersecurity, hackers, and online privacy. Follow him on Twitter, Mastodon, Bluesky, or drop him an email.