07 Nov 2012

Skype Hands Over Personal Information of Alleged PayPal Hacker


Skype gave the personal information of a 16 year-old Anonymous hacker who allegedly broke PayPal servers, reports Dutch publication Nu.nl. The chat tool division of Microsoft handed over the data to Dutch security company iSIGHT Partners, which was hired by PayPal to investigate the breach.

Skype sent the firm the suspect’s user name, real name, e-mail and home addresses, according to police files quoted by the Dutch media. The chat company distributed the information voluntarily during the police investigation into the cyber-attacks, without a court order as would usually be required.

"On occasion, we share our research findings with relevant law enforcement parties as a public service, just as you would report what appeared to be a crime that you witnessed in your neighborhood," iSIGHT senior director of global research Joep Gommers said, as quoted by Nu.nl.

At the same time, Skype representatives said they take customers' privacy very seriously.

“It is our policy not to provide customer data unless we are served with valid request from legal authorities, or when legally required to do so, or in the event of a threat to physical safety,” the company representatives told Nu.nl.

The police file for “Operation Talang” also focused on another Dutch hacker who allegedly contributed to the Anonymous cyber-attacks on Mastercard, VISA and PayPal. The group conducted a series of hackings on Guy Fawkes day, targeting PayPal and other payment companies mainly because they have blocked donations to Wikileaks.