VoIP hack suspect fugitive extradited back to US

And you may tell yourself: this is not my 40' boat


A Venezuelan hacking suspect arrested in Mexico last February on computer hacking and fraud charges faces a court appearance in New Jersey on Tuesday, following his extradition to the US last week.

Edwin Pena, 26, a former Miami resident, fled from US justice in August 2006 two months after he was bailed on charges of hacking into phone systems and stealing VoIP call credits. Pena allegedly resold these services in collusion with an accomplice, Robert Moore of Washington. Pena and Moore raked in an estimated $1.4m through the alleged sale of 10 million voice call minutes stolen from telecoms suppliers.

Moore pleaded guilty multiple computer hacking and fraud offences in late 2007, resulting in a two year jail sentence. His admitted involvement in the scam involved scanning telecom supplier networks for vulnerabilities between June 2005 and October 2005. Pena, the alleged brains of the operation and major beneficiary, use Moore's reconnaissance to draw up a list of targets for attack.

The Venezuelan used brute force techniques to extract activation codes from vulnerable telecom supplier systems. Among those victimised was a Newark, New Jersey supplier of telecoms services.

Pena used the alleged proceeds of crime to finance a comfortable lifestyle including real estate in Miami, a 40-foot boat and a BMW M3 car. He is due to appear before a judge on Tuesday before an arraignment scheduled for 23 October before US District Judge Susan D Wigenton, who has been assigned the case.

“This extradition represents the continued success of the United States in working with foreign countries to bring alleged cyber criminals to justice,” said US Attorney Paul J Fishman in a statement on the case. “No one should feel free and comfortable from prosecution or detection merely by being in another country.” ®

Broader topics


Other stories you might like

  • Experts: AI should be recognized as inventors in patent law
    Plus: Police release deepfake of murdered teen in cold case, and more

    In-brief Governments around the world should pass intellectual property laws that grant rights to AI systems, two academics at the University of New South Wales in Australia argued.

    Alexandra George, and Toby Walsh, professors of law and AI, respectively, believe failing to recognize machines as inventors could have long-lasting impacts on economies and societies. 

    "If courts and governments decide that AI-made inventions cannot be patented, the implications could be huge," they wrote in a comment article published in Nature. "Funders and businesses would be less incentivized to pursue useful research using AI inventors when a return on their investment could be limited. Society could miss out on the development of worthwhile and life-saving inventions."

    Continue reading
  • Declassified and released: More secret files on US govt's emergency doomsday powers
    Nuke incoming? Quick break out the plans for rationing, censorship, property seizures, and more

    More papers describing the orders and messages the US President can issue in the event of apocalyptic crises, such as a devastating nuclear attack, have been declassified and released for all to see.

    These government files are part of a larger collection of records that discuss the nature, reach, and use of secret Presidential Emergency Action Documents: these are executive orders, announcements, and statements to Congress that are all ready to sign and send out as soon as a doomsday scenario occurs. PEADs are supposed to give America's commander-in-chief immediate extraordinary powers to overcome extraordinary events.

    PEADs have never been declassified or revealed before. They remain hush-hush, and their exact details are not publicly known.

    Continue reading
  • Stolen university credentials up for sale by Russian crooks, FBI warns
    Forget dark-web souks, thousands of these are already being traded on public bazaars

    Russian crooks are selling network credentials and virtual private network access for a "multitude" of US universities and colleges on criminal marketplaces, according to the FBI.

    According to a warning issued on Thursday, these stolen credentials sell for thousands of dollars on both dark web and public internet forums, and could lead to subsequent cyberattacks against individual employees or the schools themselves.

    "The exposure of usernames and passwords can lead to brute force credential stuffing computer network attacks, whereby attackers attempt logins across various internet sites or exploit them for subsequent cyber attacks as criminal actors take advantage of users recycling the same credentials across multiple accounts, internet sites, and services," the Feds' alert [PDF] said.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022