On top of illegally streaming sports games for profit, the man is also believed to have attempted to extort MLB for $150,000
A 30-year-old Minnesota man has been charged with breaching the computer systems of top sports leagues in the United States and illegally streaming their content on his website for monetary gain, according to the United States’ Department of Justice (DoJ). One of the leagues that fell victim to the illegal streaming scheme estimated that it sustained losses of at least $3 million.
Joshua Streit, going by the moniker ‘Josh Brody’ online, is thought to have gained access to the computer systems of Major League Baseball (MLB), National Basketball Association (NBA), the National Football League (NFL), and the National Hockey League (NHL) before illegally streaming their content on a website he operated for profit.
“We allege Mr. Brody hacked into the systems of several of our country’s biggest professional sports leagues and illegally streamed copyrighted live games. Instead of quitting while he 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. Now instead of scoring a payday, Mr. Brody faces the possibility of a federal prison sentence as a penalty,” said FBI Assistant Director Michael J. Driscoll.
According to the authorities, as far back as 2017 and up to August 2021, Streit had been actively operating a website called Hehestreams.com that livestreamed copyrighted content owned by these major professional sports leagues, especially the NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL.
According to court documents, Streit would offer unfettered access to a full season’s worth of MLB games for $100 per year. Users willing to pay for these services could do so using various methods, including gift cards, credit cards, PayPal, or even cryptocurrencies. He was able to gain access to the copyrighted content using pilfered login credentials of proper users of the websites.
In addition to his hacking and illegal streaming activities, Streit also blackmailed MLB into paying him $150,000 or else he would spill details on a “vulnerability” he allegedly found in the league’s computer systems.