Skype Gives Security Firm Details of Alleged PayPal Hacker Without Warrant

The firm handed over the information of a 16-year-old Dutch user

Skype is accused of handing over the personal details of one of its customers to a private individual. Normally, such information is provided only to law enforcement representatives based on a court order.

Back in 2011, Anonymous hackers launched cyberattacks against PayPal, Visa and MasterCard as a form of protest against the firms’ decision to block donations to WikiLeaks. Hacktivists from all over the world took part in the attacks.

At the time, law enforcement agencies from both the United States and the United Kingdom launched investigations and several people were arrested for their alleged involvement in the attack.

It turns out that PayPal launched its own investigation and for that, it contracted Dutch security firm iSIGHT Partners.

According to, Joep Gommers, the company’s senior director of global research tracked down one of the individuals allegedly involved in the attack on an instant messaging channel.

After obtaining the 16-year-old Dutch boy’s Skype online handle, he contacted the company and asked for the hacker’s details. Skype, which is now owned by Microsoft, was also an iSIGHT Partners customer at the time when Gommers asked them for the information.

Dutch authorities say that Skype handed over the youth’s username, real name, email address and his home address based on his payment information. The problem is that Gommers wasn’t working with law enforcement and he didn’t have the authority needed to obtain the information.

Skype representatives state that according to their policies, they only hand over customer data when provided with a “valid request from legal authorities” or when someone’s physical safety is threatened.

The company is currently trying to determine how the information came into the possession of the security firm.

Hot right now  ·  Latest news