November 19, 2010

Malaysian Aressted For Hacking Federal Reserve Computers

A Malaysian cyber criminal hacked into the US Federal Reserve's computers and stole nearly half a million credit card numbers, according to US prosecutors in New York on Thursday.

Malaysian citizen, Lin Mun Poo, was arrested October 21 after entering the United States and was indicted by grand jury this Thursday, said the US attorney's office in Brooklyn.

Prosecutors allege that Poo hacked into the Cleveland, Ohio branch of the reserve, stole more than 400,000 card numbers and breached several defense systems.

The cyber hacker "made a career of compromising computer servers belonging to financial institutions, defense contractors, and major corporations, among others, and selling or trading the information," the US attorney's office said.

The US Secret Service arrested Poo just hours after he arrived in the US via John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. "Secret Service agents seized his heavily encrypted laptop computer, which contained a massive quantity of financial account data and personal identifying information that he had allegedly obtained by hacking," the prosecutor's office said.

Cyber crimes "not only affect our nation's financial infrastructure, but are also an ongoing threat to our national security," Brian Parr, head of the Secret Service's New York office, told AFP.

The Secret Service said that besides hacking into the reserve, Poo also entered a Pentagon contractor's system "potentially compromising highly sensitive military logistics information," he said.