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Football Leaks hacker Rui Pinto is handed a six-month suspended sentence after admitting to illegally accessing confidential information on PSG… just months after receiving four-year suspended sentence in Portugal | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker


  • Rui Pinto is the Portuguese hacker who founded the Football Leaks website
  • Pinto he was found guilty of illegally accessing PSG’s confidential information
  • Everton players will be fed up with the owners – listen to It’s All Kicking Off 

Portuguese hacker Rui Pinto – the founder of Football Leaks, the website which sent shockwaves through the game – has received a six-month suspended sentence after admitting to illegally accessing confidential information on PSG. 

In 2018, Pinto released hundreds of thousands of confidential documents and emails from clubs and players across Europe to several media organisations on the continent. 

This included those of Man City, which led to the the Premier League imposing 115 charges on the current champions, while details over the salaries of Lionel Messi and Neymar, along with alleged tax evasion by Cristiano Ronaldo were also exposed. 

The leaked documents from City related to financial information regarding revenue, details of manager and player remuneration, UEFA regulations, profitability and sustainability and co-operation with Premier League investigations. The club denies the allegations and maintains their innocence.

Pinto – who argued he was a whistleblower and not a hacker – was arrested in 2019 in Hungary and extradited to Portugal. He was held for almost a year before the start of his trial which concluded in September of this year. 

Football Leaks hacker Rui Pinto has received a six-month suspended sentence at a court in Paris after admitting to illegally accessing confidential information from PSG
Pinto was accused of accessing and downloading information from the emails of PSG directors

The 35-year-old was handed a four-year suspended sentence after being found guilty of attempted extortion, illegal access to data and breach of correspondence.

And on Wednesday, he faced a fresh trial in Paris, with French outlet Ouest-France claiming he was accused of allegedly accessing and downloading confidential information from the emails of PSG directors.  

The report stated Pinto was accused of having hacked the Parisiens between 2015 to 2019 and he appeared in court on Wednesday with a prior admission of guilt (CRPC). 

It was claimed Pinto accessed the emails of PSG’s financial director, Benoit Le Sech, the deputy general director, Frederic Longupee, and an executive assistant of the club, Emilie Boisseau, using various servers in France, Portugal and Hungary. 

The information that was leaked from the alleged hacking led to French authorities investigating allegations into racism at PSG, with the club accused of including ethnic criteria in evaluations of youngsters who were in their academy between 2013 to 2018. This was known as ‘ethnic profiling’.

This probe was closed in August 2022 with PSG found not guilty of any offences, although it could be re-opened as a result of Pinto’s trial, along with the presentation of further complaints from the Human Rights League. 

Speaking during the case, PSG’s lawyer said: ‘Mr. Pinto is a computer hacker.’

Pinto – who claimed his leaking of the data was in the public interest – then admitted: ‘It is a difficult situation for me and those around me’, with clubs and agents continuing to file judicial complaints at courts around Europe in relation to the original 2018 leak. 

He insisted he would continue to cooperate with authorities, including the National Financial Prosecutors Office in France.

Pinto was handed a four-year suspended sentence in September for a separate hacking trial
His lawyer, William Bourdon (right), insisted whistleblowers must be protected by courts

Pinto holds the status of a protected witness – which means he is constantly surrounded by bodyguards – and his lawyer, William Bourdon, expressed the need to provide safety for, and look after whistleblowers who bring fraud and crimes to wider attention.

‘No one can dispute that Rui Pinto is an exceptional whistleblower,’ Bourdon told AFP.

‘It allowed the revelation of facts seriously contrary to the general interest and the opening of investigations in several European countries. 

‘This contribution has been recognised, including by the Portuguese courts, while it continues to be persecuted by football criminals.’

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