The essence of being a hacker is that, you are able to hide your tracks, you are able to blend in to the digital noise of the greater internet and evade capture. Well, at least that’s the romantic image of the hacker. Also, according to popular media, a hacker is usually a young kid often wearing a hoodie. And if there are any selfies of such hackers, they would be wearing Guy Fawkes masks. In other words, they would be your stereotypical digital rebels.
Well, it appears that this isn’t the case when it came to arrests in 2013. These hacker were exposed for who they were: breachers of corporate security. Interestingly enough, the hackers nabbed in central prison in 2013 were an assorted bunch. While a few fit the typical profile of internet burglar, many could be your next door neighbor. In no particualar order, some of the more notable hacker prosecutions in 2013 were Jeremy Hammond, a member of the Lulzsec Hacktivist group. This 28-year old was sentenced to ten years in prison for conspiracy to engage in computer hacking. This is a serious charge, conspiracy. Why? in a conspiracy, if a member of the conspiracy group you are linked with commits a crime, you are charged with that crime. For example, if you are in a conspiracy with ten other people and one of those people committed a murder, guess what, you will be charged with murder. Serious, serious charge. In other words, crime of one is a crime of all. Expect more conspiracy charges for hacktivist and non-hacktivist in the future. Considering the amount of coordination most hacking activities involved, this should not be surprising.
Algerian Zeus Botnet. One of the most distinctive feature about the arrest of a 24-year old hacker of Algerinan descent at the airport of Bangkok, Thailand was not his name or his particular crime which landed him on the FBI’s wanted list. It was the fact that he had this ridiculous smile throughout the arrest. It’s as if it was a big jjoke to him. the guy was in handcuffs and the Thai police arrested him once he landed in Bangkok, Thailand. Its not a good idea to get placed in the FBI’s wanted list because regardless of whrere you travel local authorities may reference that list and might bust you. This is precisely what happened. What is his crime? He was one of the hackers who installed Zeus botnets this is particularly malicious botnet and while he did not write the code he ran several botnets running this malware. In terms of damage as measured by dollar figures, the biggest arrest of 2013 has to go to the Ukrainian and four Russians busted for breaches of major global corporations like Carrefour, JetBlue, 7-eleven and the NASDAQ. All told their online hacking shenanigans cost victims 300 million dollars and loses. As you can well imagine, such a nasty loss involves facing nasty penalties. Not surprisingly, these guys face several million of dollars in fines and up to 30 years in the can.
There you have it. Those are the biggest hacking arrests of 2013 according to Bitdefender. Protect yourself by making sure you install the latest version of Bitdefender or any other trustworthy anti-virus software.