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CRIME

Pensioner arrested after shoplifting spree

A pensioner has been arrested in Burgenland after allegedly shoplifting on as many as 120 separate occasions, in less than four months.

Pensioner arrested after shoplifting spree
The church in the centre of Gols. Photo: Travel Austria

The 62-year-old was spotted acting suspiciously in a number of shops and when he was confronted by a supermarket manager in Gols on Monday he pushed her away, ran out of the shop, and tried to flee on his bike.

The woman and a colleague gave chase and later found him hiding in a bush. They handed him over to the police.

A police spokesman told the Austrian Press Agency that the pensioner always had the same routine – two or three times a day he would go shoplifting and hide everyday items such as food and cleaning products under his jacket, and just pay for a bottle of mineral water at the checkout. It’s estimated that he stole goods worth a total of €4,000.

The man reportedly aroused suspicions after asking several times how he could withdraw money with an ATM card. He was also seen holding several grocery items in his hands.

He has since confessed to having committed around 120 thefts from three shops since the beginning of June. He is now in Eisenstadt prison.

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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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