A computer hacker who stole British pop star Ed Sheeran’s unreleased songs and sold them on the dark web has been jailed for 18 months.
The 23-yeard old, Adrian Kwiatkowski also hacked American rap artist Lil Uzi Vert’s unreleased music and sold the content online.
Adrian Kwiatkowski, 23, of Ipswich in southern England, hacked the artists’ cloud-based accounts and sold their songs on the dark web in exchange for cryptocurrency. The city of London Police, which investigated the case, said Kwiatkowski made 131,000 pounds from the music.
According to Billboard, Kwiatkowski admitted 19 charges, including copyright infringement and possession of the criminal property, in August.
The city of London Police told the Court that when the offender’s Apple Mac Laptop was investigated, 565 audio files, including the songs by Sheeran and Vert, were found.
The inquiry was first launched in 2019 when the management organizations of various singers notified the New York District Attorney that a hacker named Spidark had hacked numerous cloud accounts and was selling the content.
The investigation linked the email address used for Spirdark’s cryptocurrency account to Kwiatkowski. It then linked the IP address of the device used to hack one of the accounts as his home address.
After further investigation, Kwiatkowski was arrested by the City of London Police’s Intellectual Property Crime Unit in September 2019.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin L Bragg Jr. said, “Cybercrime knows no borders, and this individual executed a complex scheme to steal unreleased music to line his own pockets.”