Germany Spies on Steroid Users with Trojan Horse
By Millard Baker ~ source
A German bodybuilder identified as “Dimitry A” is currently serving a 4-1/2 year prison sentence for the distribution of anabolic steroids. He was arrested in February 2010 shortly after German investigators used a Trojan horse program to infiltrate his personal computer.
This type of computer surveillance has been used as a last resort for serious threats by criminals using cyber-communications such as militant terrorists (and now apparently steroid dealers).
German police most likely sent the malicious program as an email attachment to Dimitry. The attached Trojan may have appeared as a legitimate or useful program. The bodybuilder was ultimately tricked into loading and executing it on his computer.
The program allowed investigators to read email correspondences with his Chinese steroid supplier at “firstname.lastname@example.org” as well online steroid sales made with his customers. It didn’t matter that he was using Hushmail and SAFe-Mail. These were supposedly secure, encrypted email service providers.
The champion German bodybuilder of Russian descent was oblivious to the fact that police had gained backdoor access to every aspect of his anabolic steroid business. Investigators had secured remote access to his computer and recorded Skype telephone conversations, copied email messages, took screenshots of the websites he was browsing and monitored his real-time online activities. It only took police 13 days to obtain sufficient evidence to arrest, convict and sentence Dimitry to prison for steroid distribution.
Bavarian law enforcement officials had obtained a court order allowing them to spy on his online activities using the Trojan program. However, they expressed a high degree of uncertainty about the legality of such a program when they requested a court order. Officials acknowledged that the legality was ”not yet viewed in a uniform way at the national level.”
Jürgen Schwarz, the lawyer for Dimitry A, is preparing to appeal the the steroid conviction based on the questionable constitutionality by which the evidence against his client was obtained.
“Evidence was apparently illegally obtained in this case,” according to Schwarz. “That can’t go without consequences.”
Rosenbach, M. (October 17, 2011). The Shady Past of Germany’s Spyware. Retrieved from Trojan Trouble: The Shady Past of Germany's Spyware - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International