International telecom hacker group busted

Global law enforcement team takes down alleged authors of $55M-plus scam

A federal grand jury in New Jersey indicted three people, and five people were arrested in Italy, all in connection with the hacking into the IT systems of thousands of companies around the world to gain free access to telephone services, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

A multinational team of investigators worked jointly to round up the alleged hackers and their financial backers in the scheme to hack into the systems of many companies -- 2,500 in the U.S. alone -- to steal access codes that the victim companies used to route phone calls through telecom systems, the office said..

The value of all the stolen services was unclear, though the U.S. Attorney's office said the thieves routed more than $55 million worth of telephone calls over telecommunications networks in the U.S.

"This was an extensive and well-organized criminal network that worked across continents," said New Jersey's Acting U.S. Attorney. Ralph J. Marra Jr., in a statement. "The hackers we've charged enabled their conspirators in Italy and elsewhere to steal large amounts of telecommunications' capacity, which could then be used to further or finance just about any sort of nefarious activity here or overseas."

Italian officials said in a press conference that the proceeds from the group's scam funded Islamic fundamentalist groups in Southeast Asia. The five people people arrested in early morning raids in Italy are all citizens of Pakistan. They allegedly financed in the operation.

The U.S. indictment names one citizen of Jordan, and two Philippine nationals, who had already been arrested in the Philippines in March 2007 in connection with the same theft. The U.S. indictments charge the three people -- Mahmoud Nusier, 40, Paul Michael Kwan, 27, and Nancy Gomez, 24 -- with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, unauthorized access to computer systems and possession of unauthorized access devices, including pass codes to U.S. telephone systems. Each faces up to 20 years in prison.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Erez Liebermann.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags hackersItaly

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Sharon Gaudin

Computerworld
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?