A Sydney man has been arrested and charged with stealing Netflix and Spotify accounts from Australians and selling them for profit.
US’ Federal Bureau of Investigation in May last year tipped off the Australian Federal Police about a local link to an “account generator” website named WickedGen.com.
The site sold stolen account details for popular entertainment streaming services like Netflix, Spotify and Hulu. The thefts occurred from unknowing victims in Australia and around the world.
Before it shut down, the website promoted that it had more than 120,000 users and the details of almost one million accounts. The AFP will allege in court that the operator of WickedGen.com made AU$300,000 through the sale of the stolen credentials.
The AFP on Tuesday raided a property at Dee Why on Sydney’s northern beaches, seizing electronic material and cryptocurrencies – as well as arresting a 21-year-old man.
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He’s due to appear at Sydney Central Court on Wednesday, facing five charges relating to unauthorised data access, providing technology circumvention, dealing with proceeds of crime, false or misleading information and dealing in identification information.
The most serious of those charges carry a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment.
AFP cybercrime manager, acting commander Chris Goldsmid, said stolen entertainment accounts can escalate to more serious financial crimes.
“Individuals in Australia have had their personal data stolen for the sake of individual greed,” he said.
“These types of offences can often be a precursor to more insidious forms of data theft and manipulation, which can have greater consequences for the victims involved.”
Goldsmid that international cooperation was critical to fight online crime.
“This arrest is another example of the value and importance of our relationship with the FBI,” he said.
“We are working closely with the affected companies and thank them for their cooperation with investigations to date.”
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