Feeds

Three Brits arrested in global warez raids

Dragnet

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.