The use of LimeWire, a popular peer-to-peer (P2P) service, as a tool for identity theft has been highlighted by a court case in Seattle.

Frederick Wood was sentenced to three years in prison today for using LimeWire to steal personal information, which he then used to fraudulently buy goods online and then sell them on Craigslist.

Wood admitted to using LimeWire to trawl the hard drives of user's computers, entering terms such as "tax return" and "account" to find financial information. He also searched for college application forms because of the wealth of financial information they contained.

When police raided his computer they found financial information of more than 120 people. This data had been used to forge cheques which were used to buy electrical goods.

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