Davos hacker suspect in custody

Swiss police have confirmed the arrest of a person suspected of the hacking of computers at the World Economic Forum. The man, who is 20 years old, Swiss, and works part-time as an IT consultant, was taken into custody Friday in Bern, Switzerland, said a spokeswoman for the Geneva police.

The World Economic Forum confirmed on Feb. 5 that its data servers had been attacked. The grouping of industry and political leaders held its annual meeting in the Swiss resort town of Davos in late January.

According to the Swiss newspaper SonntagsZeitung, which viewed a CD-ROM provided by the hackers, the culprits stole sensitive personal information such as phone numbers, e-mail addresses, and credit card numbers of participants at the Davos forum, including former U.S. President Bill Clinton, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, and Microsoft Corp.’s Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates.

The suspect has been informed of the relevant Swiss penal code articles concerning data theft, unauthorized access to a computer system, property damage and abuse of credit cards, said the police spokeswoman.

“Because the case is still active, we can’t say anything more,” she said.

“It’s in the hands of the justice, and we’re waiting to see what happens,” said a spokeswoman for the World Economic Forum.

The World Economic Forum, in Davos, Switzerland, can be contacted at http://www.weforum.org/.