Nov 3, 2023 at 3:09 PM Update: 3 minutes ago
Pepijn van der S. was sentenced by the Amsterdam court on Friday to four years in prison, of which one year is conditional. The Dutchman is guilty of hacking computer systems, extortion and blackmail. He also laundered more than 1.5 million euros.
The Public Prosecution Service had demanded six years in prison against the 21-year-old man from Zandvoort. The Public Prosecution Service hopes that the case will also serve as a warning to other hackers involved in illegal activities.
Van der S. was arrested in January after an investigation by police cybercrime specialists. Until his arrest, he worked at a cybersecurity company and was a volunteer at the security organization Dutch Institute for Vulnerability Disclosure (DIVD).
The court blames Van der S. for using his digital knowledge for criminal practices for almost three years. He has caused major financial damage to several companies, including outside the Netherlands. The hacker compromised computer systems, then demanded a ransom to release data and threatened to make sensitive data public. He also stole non-public information.
When investigators searched his computers, they found malicious software and stolen data from millions of people. A number of the affected companies filed a claim for damages. This amounts to a total of several tons of euros.
‘Escaped into his computer’
Van der S. cooperated in the investigation and has confessed to a number of cases. The court took this into account when determining the sentence. The hacker’s young age also worked to his advantage.
It was further determined that the man suffers from significant psychological problems, which he suffered during his youth. According to his lawyer, Van der S. therefore “fled into his computer”. The Zandvoort resident must undergo treatment and report regularly to the probation service.
There are three other co-suspects involved in the case. They will be tried later.
Beeld: Getty Images
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