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Print 5 comment(s) - last by BifurcatedBoat.. on Jun 23 at 8:23 PM

Computer specialist was found guilty of hacking crimes and illegal online money transfers

The first leg of Pirate Bay co-founder Gottfrid Svartholm Warg's trial tour wrapped up this week in Sweden.

I. Cambodia Ships Mr. Warg Home to Stand Trial After Generous "Grant"

A Swedish court found Mr. Warg, 28, guilty of stealing client information from Swedish tax authorities (via contractor Logica Ltd. (LON:LOG)) and Nordea Bank AB (STO:NDA-SEK).  In what the prosecution dubbed the "biggest investigation into data intrusion ever performed in Sweden", the charges against Mr. Warg and three other Swedes alleged that they conspired to hack into mainframes from International Business Machines Inc. (IBM) at these businesses.  In the case of Nordea Bank, they allegedly then transferred money out of accounts, which they tried to disguise via a series of online money transfer.

The group allegedly successfully transferred 24.2k Danish Crowns ($4,290 USD) and were in the process of transferring a much larger sum -- €683k ($902k USD) -- when their efforts were disrupted.

Technical details of the hacks or the methods used in the money transfers have not been widely publicized.

Gottfrid
Gotffrid Warg was sentenced to two years in prison for cyberfraud. [Image Source: Reuters]

Until last August, Mr. Warg had been holed up in the Asian nation of Cambodia, which typically does not extradite suspects.  He was attempting to escape a one-year sentence that authorities in Sweden had handed down for his role in facilitating copyright infringement at The Pirate Bay, the world's largest BitTorrent site, which he co-founded (along with Fredrik Neij and Peter Sunde) back in 2003.

But the pressure to extradite him intensified when Swedish authorities convinced Cambodian officials to seize Mr. Warg's computer and they allegedly found evidence of the bank fraud scheme on it.

Sweden gave an allegedly unrelated 400 million kronor (~$59M USD at the time) grant to Cambodia for "democratic development, human rights, education, and climate change" which was approved Sept. 5.  That same week Cambodia shipped Mr. Warg -- who had been arrested the month before -- back to his home nation.

II. More Charges to Come in Denmark

In Sweden prosecutors scored a prison sentence for Mr. Warg on the hacking offenses.  Mr. Warg tried to claim that his computer had been compromised and used to perform the attacks without his knowledge.  However, the prosecution used seized chat logs from his machine to establish that he indeed knew about and participated in the cybercrime scheme.

In the U.S. these types of crimes could easily put someone in federal prison for 20 or 30 years, however the "harsh" sentence handed down by the Swedish court only calls for two years in prison (for a total of possibly three total years in prison, with The Pirate Bay sentence included).  One of his accomplices, a 36-year-old who also stood trial, got off even easier -- with probation.

Denmark
Mr. Warg will next stand trial in Denmark. [Image Source: 123rf]

The bad news for Mr. Warg, though, is that authorities have decided to allow him to be extradited once more for a second leg of his trial tour -- this time in Denmark.  In Denmark he faces hacking into Computer Sciences Corp. (CSC) owned mainframes used in tax contract work for the Danish government.  These hacks were allegedly involved in a fraud scheme similar to the Swedish one.

The case should have little impact on The Pirate Bay, which is currently registered Sint Maarten, a tiny Dutch island in the Caribbean.  It is reportedly hosted, in part, in Spain and Norway.

Aside from his controversial piracy support and alleged cybercriminal efforts, Mr. Warg also had one other major internet controversy.  In 2004 he launched a site dubbed Americas Dumbest Soldiers, which for some time kept track of U.S. soldiers killed in the Iraq War, showing their picture and listing their method of death, as available.  The site encouraged visitors to rate "how dumb" the soldiers' various causes of death were.  British Telecom Group Plc (LON:BT.A) was eventually convinced to take down the offensive site.

Sources: Reuters, TorrentFreak



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This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

By Oceanryder on 6/21/2013 9:14:21 AM , Rating: 2
Two years in a Swedish prison is (relatively speaking) nothing. Instead, why not get creative and embed him with a US Marine platoon in Afghanistan for a week or two. After all, based on the article's last paragraph, he seems to be a fan.

And who would've thought ... people who founded a site to steal ... ,excuse me, share content turned-out to be common thieves in the first place.




By SlyNine on 6/22/2013 2:27:36 PM , Rating: 2
Just remember, the people that swayed popular opinion to think of copyright infringement as stealing also tried to say sharing movies and cds was also stealing.

Its wrong, but lets get one thing straight. Going in to someone's house and taking there stuff is different then replicated the order of 1's and 0's and giving it away.


By BifurcatedBoat on 6/23/2013 8:23:04 PM , Rating: 2
It never made sense to me that it was trying to be classified as theft.

It's more like taking advantage of some system or service that can support everyone, but not being willing to do your part to help fund it.


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