Ilmar Poykans

Ilmar Poykans

Latvian hacker
Date of Birth: 04.11.1978
Country: Latvia

Biography of Ilmars Poikans

Ilmars Poikans was a Latvian hacker known for committing the largest data theft in the history of the Baltic States. He was born on November 4, 1978, and attended the Riga Commercial School. After that, he graduated from the Department of Computer Science at the Faculty of Physics and Mathematics of the University of Latvia.

Poikans worked at the Riga Stock Exchange and also spent several years working in London at Exigen Services. Currently, he works as a researcher at the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory of the Institute of Mathematics and Computer Science at the University of Latvia.

In May 2010, Poikans was arrested by the Latvian State Police. On May 13, he admitted to being the hacker known as Neo. He was defended by Alexey Loskutov, a well-known lawyer who had previously headed the Bureau for the Fight against Corruption.

Poikans is believed to be the mastermind behind the fictional hacker group 4ATA (Fourth Awakening People's Army). He used the Neo persona to communicate with the public. The first data leaks were published on Twitter. Poikans, as Neo, released information about salaries in Latvian government agencies, including the police, Riga Municipal Enterprise Rigas Satiksme, and Latvenergo, as well as several other organizations.

The leaked data was confirmed to be authentic by the respective organizations. Later, Latvian journalist Imants Liepins announced the creation of his own 4ATA, which published compromising materials about events in the early 1990s when a Ministry of Defense official facilitated weapons deliveries to Somalia in violation of UN sanctions. The Latvian prosecutor's office initiated a criminal case in connection with these allegations.

On February 14, 2010, approximately 120 gigabytes of data (7.4 million documents) were stolen from the Latvian State Revenue Service (SRS) database. The stolen information included financial data of high-ranking officials, private individuals, and companies. This was the largest data breach in Latvian history.

According to members of 4ATA, they learned about the possibility of stealing the data from a system developer who revealed that a "hole" in the system was intentionally left by a senior tax service employee. The "hole" allowed any user to download documents without authorization, simply by specifying the address and document number. EDS representatives denied that the "hole" was intentional and claimed that the security system was accidentally left inactive.

The Latvian society considered 4ATA to be national heroes, as they exposed high salaries of officials at a time when Latvia was facing economic stagnation and high unemployment rates. It was believed that 4ATA could influence voters in the parliamentary elections in the fall of 2010.

In 2010, a non-profit organization named 4ATA was established to analyze data and track illegal activities using legal methods and publicly available information. However, this organization denied any connection to the hacker group of the same name.

Despite his arrest and admission of being Neo, Poikans was still regarded as a national hero by the public.