Colombian hacker gets 10 years in jail for spying



A Colombian court sentenced hacker Andres Sepúlveda to 10 years in prison after he admitted to various crimes, including spying on the government’s peace talks with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). He admitted to spying on representatives of both the government and the FARC guerilla during peace negotiations.

The Internet pirate was arrested in May 2014 after being traced to secret offices that hacked confidential information and messages, including one whose objective was to sabotage the peace process.
 
According to the sentence handed down by the 22nd Presiding Court of Bogota, he was judged guilty of five crimes including, espionage, illegal wire-tapping, malicious use of software, breaching communications, and unauthorized access to classified information. He must also pay a fine of his current monthly minimum salaries as part of the agreement.
Sepulveda intercepted the communications of top-ranking FARC Commander Rodrigo “Timochenko” Londono and former Senator Piedad Cordooba.

According to the investigation, then-presidential candidate Óscar Iván Zuluaga hired Sepúlveda to carry out a smear campaign against President Juan Manuel Santos during the 2014 presidential campaign. The hacker told authorities that former President Álvaro Uribe was aware of his operations, and that Zuluaga paid him to undermine the peace process.

Sepúlveda has accepted the prosecution's offer of a reduced penalty in exchange for his cooperation. He cut a deal with the prosecutors in February that limited his prison term to 10 years in exchange for providing information that could help Colombian authorities.
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