January 25, 2008 / 3:33 PM / 10 years ago

Greece arrests man suspected of selling Dassault data

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greek police said on Friday they had arrested a man suspected of selling corporate secrets from France’s Dassault Group, including data on weapons systems.

“This 58-year-old mathematician was wanted since 2002 after Dassault contacted Greek authorities,” a police official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters.

“He is responsible for causing damages in excess of $361 million to the company and he has sold this corporate data, including information on weapons systems, to about 250 buyers through the Internet,” the official said.

Police suspect the man of selling the data to buyers in Germany, Italy, France, South Africa, Brazil, as well as countries in Asia and the Balkans.

“The man hacked into the company’s computer system and got possession of the data,” the official said.

Police officers accompanied by computer experts raided the central Athens apartment the man was renting under an assumed name and said he was very competent in covering up his electronic footprints.

“He is one of the world’s best hackers, using the nickname ASTRA, but we are also looking for an accomplice in the United Kingdom who helped him locate buyers on-line,” the official said.

Dassault Group and its subsidiaries are a major player in civil aviation and the military sector.

The police official said the man would be taken to the prosecutors to be charged.

Writing by Karolos Grohmann, Editing by Michael Winfrey

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