Three-year prison sentence for Ericsson spy

A 26-year old Hungarian man who hacked his way into the Ericsson computer system has been sentenced to three years in prison, according to DN on Monday.

It appears that Csaba Richter managed to get hold of confidential material via Ericsson servers and source codes from Ericsson mobile networks, hacking into systems in Los Angeles, Ulan Bator and Lund. He then tried selling the information.

According to Richter, he only did this so that he could get Ericsson’s attention, and thereby get a job with them in Stockholm. The court decided that Richter had another agenda and was trying to cash in on whatever information he had managed to steal. If he only wanted a job at Ericsson he could have contacted the company directly.

Richter, who has been described as a “computer genius”, carried out the attacks on Ericsson from his home near Budapest. He managed to map out Ericsson’s entire global network and managed to access user names and passwords via the Internet. He also managed to get hold of encrypted material and hacked in to operational systems. Among the material accessed by Richter were source codes for Sony Ericsson’s mobile phones, and secret military material. He copied much of the material onto CDs, and even renamed military files.

Richter managed initially to escape detection by erasing all logged files, thereby covering his tracks. He avoided the maximum six year sentence by co-operating and helping out in the investigation. Not only de-coding material, but also coding it so that others could not access the information after it had leaked onto the Internet.

Richter remains in custody and any access to communication for him is very restricted. A large amount of data and material will have to be wiped to secure confidentiality. It is possible that Richter is still able to manipulate the system, according to prosecutor Tomas Lindstrand.

Sources: Dagens Nyheter, Expressen