Fashion hackers beware: Remember last year when Condé Nast's server was hacked and photographs from W, GQ, Vogue and Lucky were leaked online?
The hacker, Ross Ulrich, a 22-year-old college student in Columbus, Ohio, has been nabbed. Condé Nast sued Ulrich for copyright infringement and he settled with the publishing house for $12,500. The Smoking Gun (TSG) is also reporting that the FBI raided Ulrich's house earlier this year.
Ulrich got into Condé Nast's servers handily, he told TSG, “without having to brute force anything.” He uploaded the Demi Moore covered December 2009 issue of W (you know the controversial "was her hip photoshopped out?" cover) on fashion forum The Fashion Spot (a popular destination for leaked images and "first looks") and after Condé forced the removal of that image, Ulrich posted loads more images, including the entire unpublished content of GQ's December issue, onto a blog called FashionZag. The re-posting was, Condé's lawyers said, “willfully done by defendants to thumb their noses at Condé Nast," according to WWD.
Ulrich's motivation? Well it's one that we can understand--to get there first. He told TSG that his motivation in hacking into Condé Nast was simply to "be the first to post online."
While this story clearly illustrates that leaking fashion content can get you into a lot of hot water (a lesson all of the fashion blogosphere--including us--can take to heart), there's some levity in all of this. Ulrich gave an interview to TSG but when the New York Post came calling he clammed up. When the tab approached him for an interview via Facebook he responded, ""Will there be any compensation for an interview?" After Ulrich was told, duh, no, there would be no compensation, he stopped responding. Leave it to a fashionhead to try to milk a freebie out of any situation...