A 19-year-old who was netting $50,000 a month by hacking into online gambling sites and intercepting money transfers of players was arrested in Argentina.
A number of news outlets have reported that the Buenos Aires hacker, whose father is an information technology engineer, was the leader of a gang that used malware viruses to interrupt payment processing transactions between punters and gaming sites. The miscreants used a multitude of “zombie” computers that rendered the victims helpless in attempting to access their accounts while the thefts were taking place.
Before taking the teen into custody, police cut off electrical power in his entire neighborhood to keep the hacker from deleting any data that the authorities plan to use as evidence of his alleged crimes. An investigation of the hacker’s activities had been ongoing for roughly a year, which law enforcement officials said were being done from the teenager’s bedroom.
Although not related but equally disturbing are the reports about ten days ago from a number of high-stakes poker players that computer hackers had apparently broken into their rooms at the Arts Hotel in Barcelona and attached viruses to their computers. The pros were in Spain competing in the European Poker Tour.
Criminals tend to go where the money is and the Internet allows a wealth of opportunities for those who choose to use their talents in unlawful ways. No details have been released on whether the handful of cohorts associated with the Argentine hacker will also be taken into custody.