Sigurdur Thordarson

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Sigurdur Thordarson
Sigurður Ingi Þórðarson
Born (1992-10-12) 12 October 1992 (age 27)
NationalityIcelandic
Other namesSiggi hakkari
("Siggi the Hacker")
Known forWikiLeaks, FBI
TitleIn charge of volunteers and chat rooms at WikiLeaks
Criminal charge(s)Information leaks, fraud, sexual crimes by deception
Criminal statusReleased

Sigurdur Thordarson[a] (born 1992), commonly known as Siggi hakkari ("Siggi the Hacker"),[1][2] is an Icelander known for various information leaks, frauds and embezzlements, and for his involvement with the whistleblowing organization WikiLeaks.

In 2010, at the age of 17, he was arrested for stealing and leaking classified information about Icelandic financial companies.[3] After his arrest he was introduced to Julian Assange, the editor and founder of WikiLeaks, and worked as a volunteer for the organization for almost a year and a half.[4] In 2011, Sigurdur became an informant for the FBI and turned over internal WikiLeaks documents.[5] WikiLeaks accused him of having embezzled $50,000[4] from the WikiLeaks online store[6] to which he pled guilty along with other economic crimes.[7] He was also accused of impersonating Julian Assange.[8]

In 2015 he was sentenced for sexual offences, by promising multiple individuals from 15-20 years of age, cars and money in exchange for sexual favors.[9]

Information leaks[edit]

Sigurdur began leaking information about the Icelandic banking system to the media in late 2009. He leaked information about a number of individuals in the Icelandic banking system, information that showed that individuals were committing illegal acts in relation to banking. One of the leaks Sigurdur leaked was regarding a case called "Vafningsmálið."[10] That case involved powerful political persons such as Bjarni Benediktsson during his time as an MP. Bjarni reported that the case was only a political smear campaign.[11] The information published by local news media obtained from Sigurdur also showed that one of Iceland's biggest football stars, Eiður Guðjohnsen, was in deep debt and almost bankrupt. After the information was published, Eiður sued the local newspaper DV for publishing this information. DV lost the case in a lower court, but won an appeal to the Supreme Court of Iceland, stating that the information was a matter for the public.[12][13] Amongst other information that Sigurdur admitted to have leaked in an interview with the Rolling Stone magazine[14][15] was information about local business men Karl Wernersson. He was the owner of the Milestone ehf that was the investment company Sigurdur stole most of the information from. Other names in the documents leaked by Sigurdur included information about Birkir Kristinsson, who was recently convicted of economic crimes while working for Glitnir bank.[16] Some speculate that information from Sigurdur was used as evidence in that case, Sigurdur also leaked a classified report about one of the bigger aluminum plants in Iceland. The report stated that the plant was paying 1/4 of what other aluminum plants in the world are paying for electricity.[17][18] Other information leaked by Sigurdur contained information about other local business men such as Gunnar Gunnarsson,[19] who also has been reported to assist football star Cristiano Ronaldo in tax affairs.[20] In 2013, Sigurdur got in an argument with Birgitta Jónsdóttir on Twitter over the release of the loanbooks of the Glitnir Bank. Sigurdur argued that she had no involvement, but he later stated that he had given her the files years ago.[21] In 2009, Sigurdur arrived at the offices of the Special Prosecutor, who investigated the bank collapse in Iceland in 2008. Sigurdur reportedly gave them all the information he had on Milestone and other local business men, however instead of using some of the information obtained from Sigurdur in investigation the investigators decided to sell the information.[22][23][24][25] The case against the two police officers was later dismissed, and it has been reported that the investigators made roughly 30 Million ISK ($250.000) from the documents. In January 2010 Sigurdur was arrested on suspicion of stealing classified information, that case never made it to the court system and Sigurdur always denied his involvement until the Rolling Stone interview.[14] Sigurdur was only seventeen years old when he was arrested for leaking the information.[3]

WikiLeaks connection[edit]

Kristinn Hrafnsson, spokesman for WikiLeaks, claims Sigurdur was a volunteer for the WikiLeaks organization only for a few months between 2010 and 2011[4] where Sigurdur took part in moderating a chat room.[26] Sigurdur also oversaw a project selling T-shirts on the WikiLeaks online store,[26] from which he embezzled $50,000.[26] Kristinn claims Sigurdur's claim of having been a board member or chief of staff at WikiLeaks are false and that he is a pathological liar.[26] However in the Rolling Stone interview as well as Domscheitsberg book, and the court documents from the WikiLeaks embezzlement case it's shown that Sigurdur began working for WikiLeaks as early as March 2010 and was fired in November 2011, making it a year and half he was with WikiLeaks.

Tangerine Bolen, the founder of Revolution Truth, says Sigurdur's involvement with the organization is being understated as damage control.[27]

Eelco Bosch Van Rosenthal a journalist for NOS at the time stated in the Rolling Stone article that Kristinn Hrafnsson said that he should talk to Sigurdur regarding media partnership about the diplomatic cables and other files, NOS later published the information.

According to David Kushner, the reporter who took the Rolling Stone interview with Sigurdur, Sigurdur provided Rolling Stone with over 1 terabyte of data (1000 gigabytes ) to the paper about WikiLeaks, and said that either Sigurdur was the real deal or this was the biggest and most elaborate lie in the digital age.[14]

Media portrayals[edit]

In 2013, the movie The Fifth Estate was released featuring a character based on Sigurdur, he was played by Jamie Blackley, Sigurdur is also mentioned in Domsheitberg's book, during his time with WikiLeaks he reportedly used the handles PenguinX, Singi201 and "Q".[28]

FBI connection[edit]

In August 2011, Sigurdur contacted the United States Embassy in Reykjavik and claimed he had information about an ongoing criminal investigation in the United States, and requested a meeting. The day after Sigurdur was summoned to the embassy, where he gave diplomatic staff official documents showing that Sigurdur was who he claimed he was. The day after the meeting with the embassy official the FBI sent a private jet with eight federal agents and a prosecutor to question Sigurdur. The FBI gave Icelandic authorities notice that they were questioning Sigurdur in relation to an co-investigation that Anonymous and LulzSec were about to infiltrate Icelandic government systems. After the authorities found out Sigurdur was being questioned about WikiLeaks, the FBI was asked to leave Iceland. The FBI left the country a few days later but took Sigurdur with them to Denmark where questioning continued.[29] Sigurdur was subsequently allowed to return to Iceland. In 2012, Sigurdur met with the federal agents on a number of occasions, and was flown to Copenhagen where Sigurdur was provided a room in a luxury hotel.[30] Sigurdur was allowed to return to Iceland after every meeting. Sigurdur met with the FBI again in Washington D.C. and spent a couple of days with them there. The final meeting that Sigurdur said took place with the FBI was during a course Sigurdur was enrolled in at Aarhus in Denmark, teaching IT Security. Sigurdur met with the agents there and handed over several hard drives. it is reported that Sigurdur got $5,000 for his assistance and that he was on the FBI's payroll.[5][31] In 2013, Sigurdur was also summoned to the General Committee of the Icelandic Parliament after days of being discussed in the Parliament. There Sigurdur was questioned about his involvement in the FBI case.[32] The then-Minister of the Interior Ögmundur Jónasson said in Parliament that Sigurdur was young and the FBI meant him to be a "spy" within the WikiLeaks organization.[33] At the parliament hearing Sigurdur arrived with two bodyguards.[34]

"Spy Computer"[edit]

In January 2011, it was revealed in Icelandic media that a computer had been found within closed sections of the Parliament.[35] According to reports it was alleged that WikiLeaks was suspected of placing the computer inside the Parliament. Bjarni Benediktsson the MP Sigurdur leaked information about comments found on the computer[36]

Sigurdur was questioned about his involvement in this case, but has always denied any involvement in it. Morgunblaðið, Iceland's largest newspaper published on the front page on 31 January 2011 that a local reporter for the paper DV was suspected of obtaining the information from Sigurdur. The reporter was said to be under investigation for receiving the information from Sigurdur and manipulating Sigurdur into leaking the information and placing the computer inside Parliament.[37][38] The reporter sued the newspaper for libel and won the case. Morgunblaðið withdrew the report and issued an apology to the reporter on 7 December. There was a report in the Icelandic media that stated that specialists were now checking whether parliament phones were spied on by WikiLeaks.[39][39][40] Wired published chat logs that indicated such.[41] This is believed to support the claim that Sigurdur is involved with the spy computer somehow.[42] Birgitta Jónsdóttir issued a statement stating that she had never heard of any recordings.[43]

The case is still under investigation with no official suspects.[44][45][46][47]

Anonymous and LulzSec[edit]

During his time at WikiLeaks it has also been reported that Sigurdur ordered attacks on Icelandic governmental infrastructures such as the servers hosting the Ministry's websites www.stjornarradid.is and www.landsnet.is. Those DDoS attacks were successful for a few hours. This was all done after an Icelandic business man that owns an Icelandic data center asked Sigurdur to do so. It has also been reported that Sigurdur ordered Hector Monsegur (Sabu) and his team to attack Icelandic State Police servers. This all happened during Sabu's time as an FBI informant. It is reported that Sigurdur obtained the unpublished version of a report about the surveillance unit at the U.S Embassy in Reykjavik.[48][49] It has also been reported that Sigurdur Thordarson was WikiLeaks's connection to the hacker world. Many reports have indicated that persons part of Anonymous and LulzSec reported to Sigurdur. That was covered partially in the book We are Anonymous.[50] Reports state that Sigurdur obtained many leaks through this method that WikiLeaks later published, such as The Kissinger cables and The Syria Files. It is unknown how WikiLeaks or Sigurdur obtained the information, though chat logs between Sigurdur and Hector Monsegur a.k.a. Sabu have surfaced.[51][52] Some people also speculate whether the attack on the website of the Central Intelligence Agency was ordered by Sigurdur as a test to see whether "Sabu" had really as good skills and people as he claimed, it is believed that communications between "Sabu" and Sigurdur escalated after the CIA attack.[53]

Public appearance[edit]

In November 2013, Sigurdur went to Norway to speak about his journey for the organization YATA.[54]

Convictions[edit]

In 2012, Sigurdur was questioned about sexual misconduct, accused of deceiving a seventeen year old teenage boy.[55][2] At the time Sigurdur was 18 years old. Sigurdur denied the charges but was found guilty in late 2013 and received 8 months in prison.[55][2]

In 2012, WikiLeaks filed criminal charges against Sigurdur for embezzlement. Sigurdur denied the charges and the case was later dismissed. He was later arrested in the summer of 2013 on charges of financial fraud. At that time the WikiLeaks case was brought back up, and Sigurdur was indicted on charges of embezzlement and financial fraud. In 2014, Sigurdur was ordered to pay WikiLeaks 7 million ISK (roughly $55,000) as well as being sentenced to prison for 2 years for embezzlement and financial fraud. Sigurdur pled guilty to all counts.[8][56] In those cases Sigurdur was ordered to pay the victims 15 million ISK (roughly $115.000),[8] Sigurdur received a two-year prison sentence in those cases.[7]

In 2012, Sigurdur was arrested for allegedly having tried to blackmail a large Icelandic candy factory, it then turned out that Sigurdur had no involvement in that scheme at all and the case was later dismissed.[57]

In January 2014, Sigurdur was again arrested on charges of sex crimes. He was believed to be a flight risk and possibly sabotaging the investigation and therefore placed in solitary confinement.[58] Sigurdur had said he would offer them flight tickets, Land Rovers, and up to a million dollars in exchange for sexual favors.[9] The victims ranged from the age of 15-20, all male, during which Sigurdur was 18-21. A psychiatric evaluation ruled that Sigurdur was of sound mind, but that he was psychopathic.[9] Sigurdur pled guilty to all counts and received 3 years for that.[59][58]

Sigurdur negotiated the damages to his victims and paid 8.6 million ISK (roughly $66,000).[60][61][9]

In 2014 he was sentenced to pay roughly $236,000 in damages for various economic crimes and frauds, including having swindled fast-food companies, car rentals, electronics shops, and having tricked someone into giving him all his shares in a book publishing company.[2]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Icelandic: Sigurður Ingi Þórðarson

References[edit]

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