The man, known by the name "P.Power" in hacking circles, broke copy-protection systems of commercial programs and then posted the results on the internet for others to use.
The police said all the hacker used to crack the codes and release them on the internet was a decrepit computer, a modem and a copy of Windows 98. The hacker boasted in messages on bulletin boards that he was sole author of the cracks.
"It is impossible to value the damage caused to the companies of the affected programs since it is not possible to find out exactly how many people have been able to download these programs and his cracks through the internet", said a police spokeswomen.
However, Soft SA, one of the companies whose software P.Power cracked claimed it lost 130 million euros ($140 million) in lost sales.
Earlier this year, SC Magazine reported that Spanish police arrested a man in connection with distributing the Tasin worm, which infected thousands of computers across the Spanish-speaking world.