'Hacktivist': Prosecution on a 'smear' campaign

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Richard Orange - [email protected]
'Hacktivist': Prosecution on a 'smear' campaign
Gottfrid Svartholm Warg. Photo: Bertil Ericson/Scanpix

In his first remarks in court, Gottfrid Svartholm Warg gives up the nicknames of those he blames for remotely using his computer to hack into public database.


Pirate Bay co-founder Gottfrid Svartholm Warg on Wednesday revealed the internet handles of five computer hackers he claims had remote access to the computers used to carry out the biggest computer hack in Danish history.
At the risk of being labelled a "snitch", the 29-year-old 'hacktivist' said he had disclosed the four nicknames – eraser, ripley, nohyp, and rbl – in his first interview with Danish Police.
"I gave a complete explanation to the Danish Police several times," Warg said as he was cross-examined for the first time by Anders Riisager, the deputy public prosecutor. "The motivation to investigate has been equal to zero. There has been every opportunity to find out their names. You have had more than a year to do so."
He told the court that he did not want to give the names himself, for fear of retaliation.
"I don't want to be called a traitor and a rat," he said. "I am currently in detention and it was be a risk to my own physical health. You as a prosecutor should know how dangerous it could be."
In his two trials in Sweden in 2013, Warg refused to give any details to Swedish police of the membership of The Lattice Team, the loose group of hackers he claims he had given access to the Macbook used to carry out hacking attacks on Logica, Nordea, and CSC, and who he said he suspected may have been responsible.
As he launched his cross-examination, Riisager continued the aggressive tactics with which he began the prosecution on Tuesday, asking Warg to comment on an article in Khmer440, an expat news site in Cambodia, which claimed that by the time of his arrest in 2012, he was "messed up on drugs", and "a total recluse" whose only contacts were "his dealers and landlord."
Warg refused to comment, accusing Riisager of attempting to "smear" or "cast dirt" on him.
Riisager showed the court a picture of Svartholm Warg looking thin and dishevelled at the time of his arrest.
Svartholm Warg's defence lawyer Luise Høj attacked the prosecution for its "aggressive" start to the trial, protesting that a video shown of squalid conditions in his Phnom Penh apartment at the time of his arrest was "totally irrelevant".
"It was aggressive, but I didn't expect anything else," Høj told The Local, as she arrived at the Frederiksberg courtroom on Wednesday morning for the second day of the trial.
"I'm surprised that they showed a video that's totally irrelevant," she added, pointing out that the prosecution had tried to stop her calling computer security expert Jacob Appelbaum as a witness, arguing that there was insufficient time.
She accused the prosecutor of trying to paint a negative picture of her client to sway the minds of the eight jurors in the case.
"This case is about what kind of evidence we have, but it's also about character," Høj said. "Was it really untidy? When you look at pictures of [apartments after] a visit from the police, they are always untidy afterwards."
Riisager defended his decision to show the video, which, he said his counterparts in Sweden had decided not to air in court.
"It's interesting to see where he lived, how it looked like, where his computer equipment was," he said. "It gives at least more of an impression that he was on his computer all day long. The Macbook was in the bedroom and it was connected to a stationary computer, and they were wired together."
Warg and his 21-year old Danish co-defendant are accused of hacking into Danish computer mainframes operated by US IT giant CSC, stealing social security numbers from Denmark's national driving licence database, illegally accessing information in a Schengen Region database and hacking into police email accounts.



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