Feeds

Chinese man pleads guilty to $100m piracy scam

Microsoft, Oracle and SAP among victim, NASA was one buyer

Top three mobile application threats

A Chinese businessman has pleaded guilty to copyright infringement on an epic scale after helping to crack and sell pirated high-end software worth in excess of $US100m over a three year period.

Xiang Li of Chengdu in China’s south-western Sichuan province, disputed the value of the software he sold but pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit criminal copyright violations and wire fraud, according to Reuters.

The indictment (PDF from Wired) claims that Li and co-defendant Chun Yan Li sold cheap pirated copies of business software through web sites such as “crack99.com” and “cad100.net”.

Between 2008 and 2011 they would scour darknets for software and disable access controls by cracking license files, before selling the results to over 300 purchasers in the US and over 60 other countries.

The duo advertised over 2,000 separate software products for sale, including some from Microsoft, Oracle and SAP. All manner of vertical applications were catered to, including water management, explosive simulation, manufacturing and space exploration.

The pair’s business acumen does appear to be a little off, however, as they generated profits of only around $60,000 despite selling software worth $100m.

For example, the indictment reveals how undercover agents were sold "Satellite Tool Kit 9.2.1” from Analytic Graphics for just $2,000, despite the product retailing for over $240,000.

US authorities feel buyers should have known better: NASA engineer Cosburn Wedderburn still awaits sentencing after pleaded guilty last year to buying programs from the pair worth over $1m.

The case is not only notable for the large sums of money involved, but also the way the two were apprehended. For apparently the first time, US investigators managed to lure Chinese piracy suspects off their home soil and onto US territory – in this case the Pacific island of Saipan, near Guam. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties
Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Edward Snowden on his Putin TV appearance: 'Why all the criticism?'
Denies Q&A cameo was meant to slam US, big-up Russia
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Judge halts spread of zombie Nortel patents to Texas in Google trial
Epic Rockstar patent war to be waged in California
US Supreme Court supremo rakes Aereo lawman in oral arguments
Antenna-array content streamers: 'Ruling against us could dissipate the cloud'
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
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.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.