Feeds

Latvia's 'Robin Hood' hacker unmasked as AI researcher

Nabbed after baring fat-cat salaries

Security for virtualized datacentres

Latvian police have identified a computer science researcher as the folk hero who hacked government systems to expose the fat salaries received by state officials despite a draconian austerity drive in effect.

The hacker calling himself Neo and conducting his whistleblower campaign on Twitter was unmasked as Ilmars Poikans, an artificial-intelligence researcher in the University of Latvia's computer science department, according to news reports. He admitted he was the person behind embarrassing leaks that showed government officials earning as much as 4,000 lats ($7,100) a month while salaries for teachers were slashed by one-third to $600.

Police detained the 31-year-old on Wednesday and released him on Thursday. They cited his cooperation in explaining why they weren't pushing for pre-trial incarceration.

Neo, named after the protagonist in The Matrix, made headlines in February after claiming to have downloaded more than 7 million records from Latvia's national tax office and publishing much of them online. Using Twitter as a megaphone, he argued the fat-cat salaries were proof the country's rank-and-file got a raw deal in taking on austerity measures that were a condition of a $9.5bln loan from the International Monetary Fund.

He has since been regarded as a modern-day Robin Hood by many in his country. A raid conducted earlier this week on the home of a Latvian reporter who covered the leaks was widely criticized by journalists. Neo supporters staged a brief flash mob demonstration Thursday outside the government's cabinet office.

More from the AFP and Reuters is here and here. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
NASTY SSL 3.0 vuln to be revealed soon – sources (Update: It's POODLE)
So nasty no one's even whispering until patch is out
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Forget passwords, let's use SELFIES, says Obama's cyber tsar
Michael Daniel wants to kill passwords dead
FBI boss: We don't want a backdoor, we want the front door to phones
Claims it's what the Founding Fathers would have wanted – catching killers and pedos
Kill off SSL 3.0 NOW: HTTPS savaged by vicious POODLE
Pull it out ASAP, it is SWISS CHEESE
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
Admins! Never mind POODLE, there're NEW OpenSSL bugs to splat
Four new patches for open-source crypto libraries
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
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?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.