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‘Robin Hood’ gang facing jail for theft

Four ‘modern day Robin Hoods’ who stole billions of pounds of software from big companies such as Microsoft and gave it to the public for free face being jailed.

The hackers were part of an international gang called DrinkorDie, dubbed the ‘Al-Qaeda of Internet piracy’.

They ‘cracked’ protection on new software to copy the programs and distribute them on the Web. Banker Alex Bell, 29, and IT workers Steven Dowd 39, Andrew Eardley, 35, and 31-year-old Mark Vent, will be sentenced today.

The gang’s most audacious theft was releasing Microsoft’s Windows 95 package two weeks before it hit the shelves. Bruce Houlder QC, prosecuting said: ‘They saw themselves as modern day Robin Hoods, stealing from the rich to give to the poor, but it was cover for fraud.’

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