In Sweden, Ericsson Falls Victim to Industrial Espionage

STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AP) - A court on Tuesday charged a Hungarian citizen with gross industrial espionage that could have jeopardized Sweden's security, a prosecutor said.

Csaba Richter, 26, is suspected of hacking into the computer systems of wireless equipment maker LM Ericsson and Sony Ericsson, a joint venture between LM Ericsson and Japan's Sony Corp., prosecutor Tomas Lindstrand told The Associated Press.

Richter was charged with illegally accessing telecommunications industry secrets and unauthorized dealing in secret information. The alleged crimes took place between March 2002 and June 2004 in Sweden and other countries, including his native Hungary. He was arrested in October.

Richter is suspected of having compiled secret information that, had it come into the wrong hands, could have jeopardized Sweden's defense and security, Lindstrand said, but declined to give details because the information was "confidential."

Richter claimed the aim of his hacking was to get a job at Ericsson, Lindstrand said. "He is very good at computers. He wanted to point out the gaps in the system," Lindstrand said.

If found guilty, Richter faces a maximum six years prison sentence.