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Four-Year Punishment for Accessing Software for Stealing IDs

A Seattle man has been punished in the federal court for around more than 4 years in prison and 3 years of supervised release for e-mail fraud using a protected system without permission to further identity theft and fraud, on March 17, 2008.

The man Gregory Kopiloff, aged 35, was asked for fine of $70,000 in compensation to his victims. James Robart, US District Judge, called Gregory "a highway man in the virtual world". Robart added that as people were traveling, Gregory stole their private identity and assets, as reported by The Register on March 18, 2008.

Gregory accepted that he accessed file-sharing software to get the private data of almost 50 computer users while conducting his ID stealing scam. In November 2007, Gregory pleaded guilty for computer hacking, mail fraud, and aggravated ID theft offences before the District Court, US in Seattle.

In accordance to plea bargaining settlement, prosecutors left a second ID theft offense. It is a punishable offence that can bring two-year imprisonment along with any other punishment a criminal can face.

As people have been punished for accessing networks invalidly to share copyrighted software, music and movies, the Justice Department called Gregory's case a first example against someone charged for accessing file share software to conduct identity theft.

Gregory used LimeWire's P2P (Peer-to-Peer) file sharing program to install credit and tax reports, application for financial aid of student provided from the victims' computers. He also made use of old mail theft and dumpster diving devices to built profiles.

LimeWire and various other P2P programs are used to install movies, videos, music and many large PC files. As per the Attorney Office of the US, Gregory accessed the PC to conquer and search the system of other P2P users for private data.

Further, he attempted to set up fake credit accounts in the name of other identity theft victims to purchase online merchandise. In several cases, prosecutors claimed that Gregory's victims did not know that their children had downloaded the program. The attacker used this information in order to get debit and credit cards under fake names before operating $73,000 bill unauthentic web purchases.

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