Federal prosecutors charged a college student Thursday with distributing on the Internet hundreds of secret documents that could help television owners steal signals from a leading satellite TV provider.
Igor Serebryany, 19, of Los Angeles, faces stiff prison penalties if convicted under economic espionage laws. The FBI said in court records that Serebryany acknowledged distributing the documents on the Internet. Investigators do not believe Serebryany sought any money in exchange for the disclosures.
Serebryany "specifically stated that he wanted to help the ... hacking community," FBI agent Tracy Marquis Kierce said in court records. A woman who answered the phone at the family's apartment in Los Angeles declined to speak with a reporter or pass a message to Serebryany. He also did not respond to e-mails sent to four of his Internet accounts.
The documents leaked onto the Internet described details about the latest access-card technology from DirecTV Inc. The devices, resembling credit cards, are plugged into a viewer's satellite box and control which movie and sports channels each of the company's 11 million subscribers can watch.
News source: WinBeta