UK Teen Arrested in US-Led Music Hacking Investigation

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., and City of London Police Commissioner Ian Dyson have announced the arrest of a suspected hacker for allegedly accessing world-famous recording artist’s websites and cloud-based accounts illegally, stealing unreleased songs, and selling the stolen music in exchange for cryptocurrency.

In a coordinated day of action targeting individuals involved with streaming illegally obtained music, the City of London Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) executed searches of a property in North London, UK, and a property in Ipswich, UK.

In Ipswich, a 19-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of copyright and computer misuse act offences. The property in North London was linked to the investigation, and subject to a police search warrant, following information received by PIPCU from IFPI, the organisation that represents the recording industry worldwide.

The Manhattan D.A.’s Office launched the investigation of this case after receiving referrals from the recording artist’s management companies, identified one of the perpetrators, and helped effectuate today’s arrest through its formal partnership with the City of London Police.

D.A. Vance said: “As one of the world’s leading creative capitals, New York City is dedicated to protecting artist’s intellectual property and ensuring that those who steal it face the music. As demonstrated by this investigation, my Office has the expertise, resources, and partnerships to help cybercrime victims reach across the globe to get justice, and we urge anyone who has been a victim of a hack to report it to us at (212) 335-9600.

I thank our extraordinary colleagues at the City of London Police for their strong collaboration on this case and throughout our unique partnership, which has yielded ten major law enforcement actions, including significant indictments related to securities fraud, art schemes, and cybercrime.”

Detective Inspector Nick Court, from the City of London Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit, said: “Today’s action marks a significant point in our investigation into the individuals responsible for stealing music and selling it on illegal streaming websites, worldwide.

This sort of crime causes significant financial loss to those who work so incredibly hard to produce, write and make music for their fans to love and enjoy. I am grateful for the support of our partners and colleagues in the Manhattan District Attorney’s office and IFPI in this case, which demonstrates the capability of enforcement agencies to work across international borders to disrupt criminal activity and identify those involved so they can be put before the courts.”

Jason Davies

UK based technology professional, with an interest in computer security and telecoms.

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