A 23 year old hacker who stole unreleased songs from Ed Sheeran and other 89 musicians sold them on the dark web has been jailed for 18 months

Sheeran’s music and 12 tracks by the rapper Lil Uzi Vert were exchanged for bitcoin by Adrian Kwiatkowski.

The 23-year-old Ipswich resident was able to access them by breaking into the artists’ online accounts. The New York District Attorney was informed by the management of many singers that a hacker going by the online handle Spirdark had gained access to a number of accounts and was selling the content.

The email address used to create Spirdark’s bitcoin account was connected to Kwiatkowski by the inquiry. An IP address used to hack one of the devices was also connected to his home address in the UK.

Kwiatkowski was eventually detained in September 2019 after the City of London Police received a referral for the case.

Seven gadgets, including a hard drive with 1,263 unpublished songs by 89 musicians, were reportedly confiscated by the authorities. At the Ipswich Magistrates Court in August, Kwiatkowski entered a plea of guilty to three counts of unauthorized access to computer data, fourteen counts of selling copyrighted material, one count of converting criminal property, and two counts of possessing criminal property. He also acknowledged getting bitcoins in exchange for the tracks. 19 offenses, including copyright infringement and possession of illegal goods, were accepted by Kwiatkowski. According to City of London Police, he had earned £131,000 from the music. 565 audio files, including those for the songs by Sheeran and Vert, were found when the defendant’s Apple Mac laptop was checked.

Stuart Camp, Ed Sheeran’s manager, stated in a statement that it was difficult to calculate the precise amount of money lost by Ed Sheeran as a result of Kwiatowski’s misconduct but that the expense of removing a tune might result in losses of six figures.

He said that the musician had experienced grief as a result of the hacking since both his music and his personal life had been compromised.