Operation Zombie arrests teen hacker in Argentina

September 13, 2013 by Almudena Calatrava

(AP)—Argentine police say they have arrested an alleged 19-year-old hacker on suspicion of leading a network specialized in fraud and complex financial transactions that led to security breaches at numerous websites.

The youth, whose identity has not been revealed, is the son of an information systems engineer. He was initially detained at his home in Buenos Aires in July as part of "Operation Zombie," which included five raids in the capital and the city of Rosario, about 190 miles (300 kilometers) north, the Security Ministry reported Friday.

Experts believe the "super-hacker" diverted about $50,000 a month to his bank account, using the "technological cave" he assembled at his home. Police raiding his Buenos Aires residence seized sophisticated computers and other technological equipment.

Officials identified six more people who were involved in the criminal network.

The police department's Operation Zombie began in 2012, when a businessman who offered hosting services for personal web pages on his servers said that a hacker was remotely entering the servers to intercept monetary transfers.

Former criminal attorney Graciela Gils Carbo, who is now Argentina's chief prosecutor, ordered the federal police to begin an investigation that uncovered that the same person was stealing from money transfer and online game sites.

"Internet users were victims of a 'malware' virus that the hacker hosted in a server for downloading online gaming applications," said a ministry statement.

To complete the job and avoid alerting victims to an illegal money transfer, the suspected hacker carried out a "denial of service" maneuver that used a network of thousands of "zombie" computers to saturate the platform for payments so users could not access their accounts around the time of the attack.

Explore further: China and US smash child porn sites

Related Stories

China and US smash child porn sites

August 26, 2011

China and the United States have closed down a network of Chinese child pornography sites, in a rare instance of cooperation between the two nations on cyber crime, Beijing said.

Tokyo man arrested over bizarre hacking campaign

February 10, 2013

Japanese police on Sunday arrested a man suspected of being behind a computer hacking campaign following an exhaustive hunt that at one stage had authorities tracking down a cat for clues, according to reports.

UK police arrest 6 people in phone hacking probe

February 13, 2013

(AP)—British police investigating computer hacking and privacy offenses by the media have arrested six people allegedly involved in intercepting voice mails for the defunct News of the World tabloid.

Pirate Bay Swede sentenced for hacking, fraud (Update)

June 20, 2013

A founder of the popular file-sharing website Pirate Bay who was arrested in Cambodia under an international warrant was convicted in Sweden on Thursday of hacking and fraud and given a two-year prison sentence.

Recommended for you

Microsoft describes hard-to-mimic authentication gesture

August 1, 2015

Photos. Messages. Bank account codes. And so much more—sit on a person's mobile device, and the question is, how to secure them without having to depend on lengthy password codes of letters and numbers. Vendors promoting ...

Power grid forecasting tool reduces costly errors

July 30, 2015

Accurately forecasting future electricity needs is tricky, with sudden weather changes and other variables impacting projections minute by minute. Errors can have grave repercussions, from blackouts to high market costs. ...

Netherlands bank customers can get vocal on payments

August 1, 2015

Are some people fed up with remembering and using passwords and PINs to make it though the day? Those who have had enough would prefer to do without them. For mobile tasks that involve banking, though, it is obvious that ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

packrat
1 / 5 (1) Sep 16, 2013
One very smart 19 year old..... too bad he's going to end up in jail now...

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.