The US charges the Swiss ‘hacktivist’ for data theft and leakage

A Swiss hacker has been charged by the Department of Justice with computer harassment and identity theft, just over a week after the hacker was credited for helping to break into the online systems of US security camera launch.

A lawsuit against Till Kottmann, 21, was brought Thursday by a grand jury in Seattle-based Western Washington District.

Federal prosecutors said Thursday that Kottmann, of Lucerne, Switzerland, was first charged in September. The range of allegations dates back to 2019 and involves stealing certificates and data and publishing source code and property information from more than 100 entities, including companies and government agencies.

Kottmann had described the latest hack and leak of photographs from customers of California security camera provider Verkada as part of a “hacktivist” reason for exposing the dangers of a major investigation.

U.S. Attorney Tessa Gorman denied those reasons in a statement Thursday.

“These actions can increase vulnerability for everyone from large corporations to individual consumers,” Gorman wrote. “Surrounding oneself in an altruistic cause that is said to remove the criminal stigma from such harassment, theft and fraud.”

Kottmann did not immediately return an online request for comment Thursday.

Swiss authorities said they attacked Kottmann’s home in Lucerne late last week at the request of U.S. authorities. It is unclear whether U.S. prosecutors intend to remove Kottmann, who is still in Lucerne and has been notified of the upcoming charges. Prosecutors allege that the FBI recently seized a website that Kottmann used to publish online published data.

The uprising linked several hacks to Kottmann over the past year, including one targeting an anonymous security device maker based in the Seattle area and another influences a manufacturer of ingenious equipment.

In several cases, prosecutors alleged that Kottmann inappropriately used valid employee credentials to access source code databases. The uprising says Kottmann also seized the Washington state Department of Transportation, a carmaker and financial investment firm.

The uprising makes no specific mention of last week’s infamous Verkada hack, which drew attention as it featured live camera footage and video footage from schools, prisons, factories, gyms and corporate offices.

Kottmann, who uses their pronunciation, told The Associated Press last week that they belonged to an organization nicknamed APT-69420 Arson Cats, a small collection of “mostly queer hackers , without support from any countries or capital but instead support from the desire for sport, to be gay and a better world. ”

Kottmann has previously drawn attention to the release of lock-in products to expose security flaws, including from US chipmaker Intel last year.

The conviction seeks to link Kottmann’s efforts to self-promotion, including the design and sale of clothing related to the making of hockey and “ideology versus intellectual property,” as part of a wider conspiracy. to commit computer fraud.