Feeds

Three Brits arrested in global warez raids

Dragnet

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

Three people were arrested in the UK yesterday as part of an international crackdown on software piracy.

The global operation resulted in 120 searches in 10 foreign countries. Searches were conducted in Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Israel, The Netherlands, Singapore, and Sweden, as well as in the UK.

The operation is described as the largest multi-national law enforcement effort ever directed against online piracy. Due to differing international police procedures not all suspects were arrested. Figures for the total number of arrests are currently unavailable.

The UK arrests took place on the afternoon of 21 April, when officers from the UK's National Hi-Tech Crime Unit (NHTCU) together with local forces executed search warrants at three addresses in Belfast, Manchester and Sheffield. Three men, a 30 year-old from Belfast, a 34 year-old from Manchester, and a 22 year-old from Sheffield were arrested. Police suspect the trio are part of a international underground software piracy organisation, known as 'Fairlight'.

"Cracked software on all types of media" were seized during the UK raids. UK police also recovered seven computers, more than 100 CD copiers, offensive weapons and counterfeit driving licences and credit cards.

Detective Superintendent Mick Deats, Deputy Head of the National Hi-Tech Crime Unit, said: "In addition to attacking piracy globally, this operation struck at all facets of the illegal software, game, movie, and music trade online."

The investigation focused on individuals and organisations implicated as the original source for most of the pirated works traded or distributed online including utility and application software, movies, music and games. Among the groups targeted are well-known organisations such as Fairlight, Kalisto, Echelon (!), Class and Project X, all of which specialised in pirating computer games, and music release groups such as APC.

More than 200 computers were seized worldwide, including 30 computer servers that functioned as storage and distribution hubs. One of the storage and distribution servers seized in the US contained an estimated 65,000 pirated titles. Investigators estimate the value of the pirated works seized during worldwide raids "easily exceeded $50m".

The operation is a joint venture between FBI's Cyber Division and the DoJ's Computer Crimes and Intellectual Property Section assisted by local laws enforcement agencies, like the NHTCU. Organisations including the Business Software Alliance, the Entertainment Software Association, the Motion Picture Association. of America and the Recording Industry Association. of America are credited with assisting with investigations that led up to the raids. ®

Related stories

Witchfinder General targets NSA in Warez sweep?
German police bust massive movie piracy ring
War on Warez

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Nokia offers 'voluntary retirement' to 6,000+ Indian employees
India's 'predictability and stability' cited as mobe-maker's tax payment deadline nears
It may be ILLEGAL to run Heartbleed health checks – IT lawyer
Do the right thing, earn up to 10 years in clink
France bans managers from contacting workers outside business hours
«Email? Mais non ... il est plus tard que six heures du soir!»
Adrian Mole author Sue Townsend dies at 68
RIP Blighty's best-selling author of the 1980s
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Analysts: Bright future for smartphones, tablets, wearables
There's plenty of good money to be made if you stay out of the PC market
Jeff Bezos reveals Amazon's brutal scale in annual letter
Bit-flipping retail mogul seems hybrid of Ford and Rockefeller
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.