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Graffiti vandal ‘Puber’ to appear in court

Vienna’s most notorious graffiti sprayer, who calls himself Puber (German for 'adolescent’), is due to appear in court, charged with causing damage amounting to €50,000.

Graffiti vandal 'Puber' to appear in court
Puber's signature in Vienna. Photo: APA/Fohringer

The Swiss man, who is 30-years-old, faces up to five years in prison if convicted.

Police arrested him in early March in a flat in Vienna’s Rudolfsheim-Fünfhaus district. An anonymous tip-off led police to the commune where he was living. Three other graffiti sprayers were also arrested.

Since then Puber has been in custody, despite the efforts of a Facebook group who campaigned for his release.  

Vienna city council and Wiener Linien (Vienna public transport) have been asked to give witness statements, along with 30 private individuals and companies.

Puber, who left his mark mostly around the 7th district, was extremely unpopular in Vienna – even with other graffiti artists as he would spray over their work.

 

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CRIME

Austria probes claim spyware targeted law firms and banks

Austria said Friday that it was investigating a report that an Austrian company developed spyware targeting law firms, banks and consultancies in at least three countries.

Austria probes claim spyware targeted law firms and banks

Microsoft’s security team earlier this week said it found that a malware called Subzero — developed by Vienna-based company DSIRF — was deployed in 2021 and 2022.

“Observed victims to date include law firms, banks and strategic consultancies in countries such as Austria, the United Kingdom and Panama,” it wrote in a blog entry on Wednesday.

Austria’s interior ministry said it had not received reports of any incidents.

READ ALSO: Austria wary of cyber attacks after personal data of foreign residents leaked online

“Of course, (intelligence agency) DSN checks the allegations. So far, there is no proof of the use of spy software from the company mentioned,” it said in a statement.

Austria’s Kurier newspaper cited DSIRF as saying that Subzero had not been misused and “was developed exclusively for use by authorities in EU states” and was not commercially available.

DSIRF did not immediately return a request for comment from AFP.

Austria’s interior ministry said it knew of the company but “has not had any business relationships” with it.

Last year several media outlets reported that governments around the world, including in the EU, had used Pegasus spyware made by Israel’s NSO Group to spy on opponents.

Budapest and Warsaw responded that the use of Pegasus was for legitimate national security reasons.

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