AfterDawn: Tech news

Man convicted for using Limewire to steal identities

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 12 Aug 2009 17:18 User comments (7)

Man convicted for using Limewire to steal identities Frederick Wood, of Seattle, has been convicted and sentenced to 39 months in prison in prison this week for using the infamous P2P client Limewire to steal personal information from over 100 unsuspecting sharers.
Kathryn Warma, assistant U.S. attorney in the Computer Hacking and Internet Crimes Unit of the U.S. Attorney's Office says the identify theft is very common, but not to many people know it exists.

Wood, says Warma, would type keywords such as "tax return" or "bank account" into the Limewire search box which allowed him to download files with that type of personal information from shared folders of naive or unsuspecting Limewire users.

The convicted felon also searched specifically for college financial aid forms, says PCWorld, which include "exhaustive personal and financial information about the family." Wood would then use the info to open accounts, receive credit cards, and make purchases in their names.

"Many of the victims are parents who don't realize that Limewire is on their home computer," added Warma.

Wood was originally arrested for fraud, after selling a Mac computer on Craigslist, but giving the buyer a box that included no computer but instead a book and a vase in the shape and weight of a mac. The victim then set up a similar deal as a police sting and Wood was arrested on the spot for selling an empty box to a police officer.

While searching Wood's computer, authorities found tax returns, bank statements and other personal info from over 120 victims from across the US.

Wood also apparently had ties to Gregory Kopiloff, the first man to be convicted in the US for using P2P to steal identities. Kopiloff is currently serving four years in prison.

Previous Next  

7 user comments

112.8.2009 19:17

Sad thing is if he would have used limewire to download music/movies he would have recieved more jail time and fines but since it was only identity theft he gets little time

212.8.2009 20:17

i know right. total crap. let this guy get away with stealing people blind, and not punish him at all, total BS.

312.8.2009 21:25

At least this guy is caught and being prosecuted. I have been a victim of attempted identity theft, the person had access to my online accounts (bank/credit cards/paypal) because he had my username and passwords he got from a keylogger. Fortunately there were systems in place that kept him from doing any damage, but he tried to buy over $2000 in goods from Bestbuy. When I called the police, they said without record of anything actually being bought it would be very difficult to find and arrest him, and perhaps even harder to prove anything.

I have had other friends have credit cards opened in their names and when they tried to pursue legal action, they were pretty much told it was useless to even try. So at least this guy is getting what he deserves. Now...the people that are keeping sensitive financial information in a shared folder on Limewire is a whole other conversation.

412.8.2009 21:28

they probably didnt save it in the limewire folder. it probably was sharing their entire C: drive. or the my documents foler.

513.8.2009 13:33

Originally posted by wabashman:
i know right. total crap. let this guy get away with stealing people blind, and not punish him at all, total BS.
I'm pretty sure you mean "robbing" people blind...

And I think that this dude got what he deserves. I can't stand thieves.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 13 Aug 2009 @ 13:33

“Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in. Breathe out. Forget this... and attaining enlightenment is the least of your problems.”
–Zen Judaism by Someone Clever

613.8.2009 14:11

the question that needs to be asked is does everyone think this guy is a lone ranger or that others have jumped on the band wagon... it seems that children use limewire more then most adults and that most dont even know its on their system .. the sad thing is that anyone with a p2p is at risk if they can enter a share folder thats not set up right then more people need to know about it.. this is the news that the RIAA could get out and I'll bet dallors to dounuts that everyone with in a tv on cnn or cbs would be checking thier machines and removing the program and other p2p software on the family machine.. see kids think it will happen to others not to them .. well not a good idea when its mommy's and daddy's money your playing with.... limewire and other bittorrent programs make you available to be nailed not only by the RIAA but now by the crooks ... thanks for nothing limewire ... how long before someone sues them???????

713.8.2009 14:16

This guy did it the easy and traceable way.. some of us have been dropping backdoor keylogger trojans through limewire for years XD

ppw.. proper stuff

Comments have been disabled for this article.

News archive