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

Interactive tool lifts veil on the cost of nuclear energy

August 24, 2015

Despite the ever-changing landscape of energy economics, subject to the influence of new technologies and geopolitics, a new tool promises to root discussions about the cost of nuclear energy in hard evidence rather than ...

Smart home heating and cooling

August 28, 2015

Smart temperature-control devices—such as thermostats that learn and adjust to pre-programmed temperatures—are poised to increase comfort and save energy in homes.

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.