A man from Minnesota has been charged with hacking four major American professional sports leagues and defrauding them of millions of dollars by illegally streaming copyrighted live games.
St. Louis Park resident Joshua Streit, who is also known as Josh Brody, allegedly intruded into the computer systems of the National Basketball Association (NBA), the National Football League (NFL), the National Hockey League (NHL), and Major League Baseball (MLB) using login credentials misappropriated from legitimate users.
The 30-year-old Streit then allegedly used his unauthorized access to livestream games via a pay-to-view website that he operated from around 2017 to August 2021.
Streit is further accused of threatening to expose cybersecurity flaws in the computer system of one of the leagues unless he received a hefty payment.
US Attorney Damian Williams said: “Joshua Streit is alleged to have illegally streamed sports content online from MLB, the NHL, the NBA, and the NFL for his own personal profit.
“Furthermore, Streit allegedly hacked MLB’s computer systems and attempted to extort $150,000 from the league.”
According to the complaint unsealed Thursday in Manhattan Federal Court, Streit’s alleged illegal conduct caused one of the victim sports leagues to sustain financial losses of approximately $3m.
Streit is charged with one count of knowingly accessing a protected computer in furtherance of a criminal act and for purposes of commercial advantage and private financial gain, one count of knowingly accessing a protected computer in furtherance of fraud, one count of wire fraud, one count of illicit digital transmission, and one count of sending interstate threats with the intent to extort.
If convicted on all counts, Streit faces a maximum custodial sentence of 37 years.
“Instead of quitting while he [Streit] was ahead, he allegedly decided to continue the game by extorting one of the leagues, threatening to expose the very vulnerability he used to hack them,” said FBI Assistant Director Michael Driscoll.
“Now instead of scoring a payday, Mr. Brody faces the possibility of a federal prison sentence as a penalty.”