Swedish police raid 'embassy hacker'

According to Egerstad, he only published this information in order to draw attention to a major security weakness.

Swedish police Monday raided the office of the security consultant Dan Egerstad, who in August published 100 passwords for embassies and governments worldwide.

Police confirmed that his office was searched and that he was charged with unauthorized computer access, but the police would not say anything more.

Computers, disks and drives were seized during the raid, which took place at 9 a.m. local time. Egerstad was taken to the police station for questioning. Both the security police and the national criminal investigation department were involved. Although the operation took place in the southern Swedish city Malmo, it was directed by the IT crime section of the National Criminal Investigation Department in Stockholm.

He was questioned for about two hours and after that he was released, he said. "I was told that pressure has been applied from other nations and that there are certain countries that I shouldn't travel to," Egerstad said.

"They mentioned Hong Kong and some other countries where there has been a lot of activity," he said. "My guess is India, but they wouldn't say more."

Egerstad has always been forthcoming about publishing the passwords. He insists that he never committed unauthorized access and that he wanted to draw attention to a security problem.

He said that the hardware that was seized is what he uses in his work as a security consultant. "The laptop that they took was my work computer, and the other ones weren't even connected. I can't do any work now," he said.

Egerstad has closed the Web site where the passwords, along with other security information, were published. Egerstad published the log-in details for 100 embassies and government agencies. The list included the foreign department of Iran and the Russian and Indian embassies in Stockholm.

According to Egerstad, he only published this information in order to draw attention to a major security weakness. He waited almost two weeks before he revealed how he uncovered the information. He had set up a node in the Tor anonymity network, which caused a number of unencrypted passwords to pass his server. Many of them belonged to governments and embassies. The method used, he says, means that no unauthorized access was needed to intercept the information.

One probable explanation for why the passwords passed Egerstad's Tor node is that other illegal users, who were reading embassy e-mail using stolen passwords, used the Tor anonymity service to avoid being discovered.

By Swedish law, the penalty for unauthorized computer access is a fine or a maximum of two years in prison.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Linus Larsson

Computer Sweden
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?