football leaks suspected hacker detained in hungary

Football Leaks: ‘Suspected hacker’ detained in Hungary

Benfica stadium in LisbonImage copyright Getty Images
Image caption Benfica was one of the clubs targeted by the suspected hacker

Portuguese police say a man has been detained in Hungary and media reports suggest he is a suspect in the hacking of documents from football clubs.

The 30-year-old Portuguese, who has not been officially named, was detained with electronic equipment in the capital, Budapest, where he lives.

The man is believed to be linked to the Football Leaks whistleblower website.

He is reportedly the main suspect in the hacking of emails from Portuguese clubs Benfica, Sporting and Porto.

Several Portuguese media outlets, including public broadcaster RPT, named him as Rui Pinto, originally from the northern city of Gaia.

The private documents that he allegedly hacked included details about a number of players’ contracts and clubs’ plans and conversations.

He is believed to have used a string of hacking techniques to gather and leak the information, according to Marca newspaper.

After the details were hacked, the suspect’s lawyer contacted Portuguese clubs demanding money in exchange for not going public with the documents, the newspaper adds.

The detained man is suspected of qualified extortion and violation of secrecy among other crimes, police say (in Portuguese).

Read more about Football Leaks

A report by Portugal’s Sábado magazine in September said the country’s authorities had then identified the suspect, described as a “computer genius”.

Following the story, a post on Football Leaks’ Facebook page read “PJ looking for me? LOL #catchmeifyoucan”, in reference to Portugal’s police.

Up to 70 million documents have been provided by Football Leaks and more than 3.4 terabytes of information shared by media outlets in the European Investigative Collaborations (EIC).