StudiVZ, a social network for students based in Berlin and the German answer to (and clone of) Facebook, has been hit by unpleasant news.
TechCrunch Europe reports that the young man that a few months ago was convicted for blackmail after trying to “sell back” user information taken from StudiVZ and its sister networks Sch??lerVZ and MeinVZ to VZ-Netzwerke (the company that owns the networks), has died in the juvenile detention centre Pl?Â¶tzensee. He apparently committed suicide.
A tragic news insofar a young life is lost, but made even more tragic by the fact that the information he was trying to blackmail the firm with was not stolen by him hacking into their network, but harvested from publicly available data!
He could never have been convicted of hacking, but he made the mistake of engaging in blackmail over data that was accessible to anyone using crawler software, and threatening to sell the information to Eastern European cyber gangs.
It seems that additional weight to his crime has given the fact that he was trying to “sell” information taken from Sch??lerVZ, the social network that caters to high-school students, who most of them are underage.
StudiVZ has reported the news on their company blog, but they switched off the comments.