Student arrested for security secrets

Friday, 3 January 2003, 10:56 AM EST

The FBI has arrested a Russian college student who was accused of stealing and distributing hundreds of secret documents about new anti-piracy technology from DirecTV, the US' leading satellite television company.

The student, identified as Igor Serebryany, 19, of Los Angeles, was accused of using the internet to distribute hundreds of sensitive documents describing details of DirecTV's latest "access card" technology, which uses credit card devices to control which of the company's 11 million US subscribers can view particular channels.

Investigators said the documents were sent to operators of at least three underground web sites that specialise in hacking these devices to permit subscribers to watch programming they had not paid for.

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