Computer Crime Research Center


P2P software could lead to id theft

Date: November 08, 2007

In one of the first cases where file sharing programs such as LimeWire were used to steal identities, a Seattle man plead guilty to one count each of mail fraud, accessing a protected computer without authorization to further fraud, and aggravated identity theft.

Gregory Kopiloff, said in court today he used using file-sharing programs to tap into 80 or more victims’ computers to get access to their personal information in tax returns, credit reports, bank statements and student financial aid applications. He then used that information to open credit lines and shop online, where he rang up bills over $73,000, court records indicate.

While people have been prosecuted for using networks to illegally share copyright music, movies and software, the Justice Department, after Kopiloff’s September arrest, called this its first case against someone accused of using file-sharing to commit identity theft, according to an Associated Press report.

According to the indictment issued in September, the US Dept. of Justice said Kopiloff used file sharing programs, including the Limewire program, to “search” the computers of others for federal income tax returns, student financial aid applications, and credit reports that had been stored electronically by other real people on and in their own private computers.
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