Top artists including Frank Ocean, Ye, Post Malone, Ed Sheeran, and Lil Uzi Vert are getting justice after the arrest of hacker Adrian Kwiatkowski. According to reports, the 23-year-old from Ipswich (in the UK) managed to access unreleased material after hacking the digital accounts of the aforementioned artists. The hacker admitted to a total of 19 charges including “three charges of gaining unauthorized access to a computer, 14 copyright offenses, two charges of possessing criminal property and one offense of converting criminal property.” He also confessed to selling an Ocean song for $1,000 USD after hacking the artist’s Tumblr page.
Kwiatkowski also accessed the Dropbox accounts of Uzi and Malone, and downloaded material from Ye’s Dropbox, ultimately making a profit of £131,000 (close to $148,ooo) from the music, per the City of London Police. When Kwaiatkowski’s laptop was searched, police officials discovered 565 audio files.
“These offences caused damage to the music industry which has a significant importance economically, particularly to the UK,” Judge David Pugh said during the hacker’s sentencing. “They also affected the artists whose personal lives were violated as the information you accessed was not just music, it was also personal details.”
Prosecutor Edward Renvoize added, “This case is about the defendant’s unauthorised hacking of email, social media, and electronic storage accounts, his appropriation of music from those accounts and his sale/offering for sale of that music on the dark web in exchange for cryptocurrency.”
Kwiatkowski was arrested in September 2019 after several musicians reported that their music was being hacked and sold online by someone known as “Spirdark.” Upon an investigation, it was found that an email address used to set up Spirdark’s cryptocurrency account led to Kwiatkowski. The 23-year-old’s home address was also linked to an IP address to hack one of the devices.
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