Hackers have been pretty busy lately. Suddenly there was a surge of cybercrime activities that involves hacking and stealing people’s private information. Not that it hasn’t been happening but lately, there were more than usual. Like why can’t you just take up painting or rock collecting or something?
2 Malaysian businessmen who have been implicated in a hacking scandal by the US Department of Justice ( DoJ) face 23 charges, including identity theft and money laundering.
Wong Ong Hua, 46, and Ling Yang Ching, 32, have also been charged with racketeering, racketeering conspiracy, aggravated identity theft, access device fraud, infringements of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), and falsely registering domain names, according to a statement by the DoJ.
The US wants to extradite the duo. The offences carry prison sentences ranging from 5 to 20 years. If found guilty of fake domain name registration, their maximum prison sentences may be increased by up to seven years.
The DoJ said the pair allegedly conspired with various hackers to profit from criminal computer intrusions of video game companies, including two from China.
It alleged that they operated through a Malaysian company called SEA Gamer Mall, founded by Wong, through a pattern of activities involving computer intrusion offences targeted at U.S., France , Japan, Singapore and South Korea video game companies.
John Demers, US National Security Assistant Attorney General, said yesterday that the Malaysian defendants were in custody but were likely to fight extradition. The statement did not, however, state under whose custody the duo is being held.
The DoJ said that this month it had obtained search warrants resulting in the seizure of hundreds of accounts, servers, domain names and “dead drop” web pages used by the alleged hackers to syphon their victims’ data.
It said Microsoft Corp had developed measures to block the hackers and that the actions of the company “were a significant part” of the overall efforts of the United States to neutralise them.