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'Millionaire' German Hacker Nearly Bankrupt - Report

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By Brian McWilliams, Newsbytes
MUNICH, GERMANY,

24 Oct 2001, 1:46 PM CST

Kim Schmitz, a self-proclaimed millionaire hacker, is on the verge of financial ruin, according to a report by a German financial magazine.

Schmitz, who recently gained notoriety for organizing a group known as Yihat or "Young Intelligent Hackers Against Terrorism," has been ordered by a court to hand over his shares in an investment fund he founded to pay off a creditor, according to the current issue of Die Teleboerse.

Banks are doubtful that the value of Schmitz's shares will cover his debt, said the report by Die Teleboerse, which also operates CNN.de, CNN's German-language news and information site serving Germany.

The investment fund, Kimvestor AG, was founded in January 2000 with Schmitz as chief executive officer. Its holdings include high-tech start-ups Monkey AG, and megaCar AG, both of which are scheduled to go public next year, according to the fund's Web site.

A third company founded by the 27-year-old Schmitz, TUEV Dataprotect GmbH, has filed for insolvency, said the magazine's report.

Schmitz did not respond to interview requests.

Last month, Schmitz claimed to Newsbytes that his net worth was more than $100 million. In March, the hacker-turned-entrepreneur told Business Week magazine that Kimvestor would have net income of $553 million in 2004.

At his personal Web site, Kimble.org, Schmitz offers photos of his cars, yacht, and jet, as well as images from recent trips to Monaco, Cuba, and Brazil.

Schmitz has offered a $10 million dollar reward for information leading directly to the apprehension or conviction of Osama bin Laden, according to a page at his site.

In a online chat room this week, Schmitz offered a $10,000 bounty for information about the true identity of a hacker named Fluffy Bunny who repeatedly defaced Schmitz's Web sites earlier this month.

In the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks on America, Schmitz formed Yihat with the mission of disrupting terrorist computer networks. The hacker claimed Yihat had successfully penetrated two Arab banks and obtained information on accounts held by bin Laden and the Al Qaeda terrorist network. Officials from the two financial institutions deny any security breaches occurred or that the terrorist leader had accounts at the banks.

Kimvestor is online at http://www.kimvestor.com .

Die Teleboerse is on the Web at http://dieteleboerse.n-tv.de .

Reported by Newsbytes, http://www.newsbytes.com .

13:46 CST
Reposted 16:51 CST

(20011024/WIRES TOP, ONLINE, PC, LEGAL, BUSINESS/KSCHMITZ.JPG/PHOTO)

© 2001 The Washington Post Company

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