AT&T hackers have terrorist connections, say Philippines police

The hackers in the Philippines were raising funds for a terrorist group in Saudi Arabia

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation and police in the Philippines have jointly busted a ring of four alleged hackers in Manila with connections to a terrorist group in Saudi Arabia, the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group of the Philippines police said last week.

FBI agents, who have been investigating hacking of telecommunication companies in the U.S. and in the country since 1999, have uncovered a "paper trail" of various bank transactions allegedly linking the local hackers to the cell in Saudi Arabia, whose activities include financing terrorist activities, CIDG said in a statement.

The operation last week followed a complaint from AT&T, which suffered losses of up to US$2 million as a result of a hack of its system, the Philippines police agency said.

The Philippines police said that Muhammad Zamir, a Jemaah Islamiyah member, paid the suspects to hack the trunk-line of different telecommunication companies including AT&T. Revenue derived from the hacking was diverted to the account of the terrorists, who paid the Filipino hackers on a commission basis through local banks, CIDG said.

Jemaah Islamiyah is an Islamic militant group that has been active in South East Asia and is said to be linked to some terrorist attacks in the region, including the Bali bombing in 2002.

AT&T and the FBI were not immediately available for comment. AT&T said last week that there was an attempt to obtain information on a number of AT&T customer accounts, but said it did not believe that the perpetrators of the attack obtained access to users' online accounts.

Zamir was arrested in Italy in 2007 by FBI operatives but his group continues to be active, and was later tagged by the FBI to be the financial source of the terrorist attack in Mumbai, India on Nov. 26, 2008. After Zamir's arrest, an unnamed Saudi national took charge of the operation of the group, and also maintained links with the group of hackers in Manila, CIDG said.

In March, FBI requested the assistance of CIDG Anti-Transnational and Cyber Crime Division after it found that the terrorist group had targeted AT&T in the U.S., and the same group of Filipino hackers was involved, CIDG said.

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John's e-mail address is john_ribeiro@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or
Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags securitylegaltelecommunicationat&tCarriersCriminalU.S. Federal Bureau of InvestigationPhilippines Criminal Investigation and Detection Group

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

John Ribeiro

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

James Cook University - Master of Data Science Online Course

Learn more >

Mobile

Victorinox Werks Professional Executive 17 Laptop Case

Learn more >

Sansai 6-Outlet Power Board + 4-Port USB Charging Station

Learn more >

Exec

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?