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Notorious eBay hacker arrested in Romania

Vladuz impaled

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Vladuz, the notorious hacker who repeatedly accessed off-limits parts of eBay's network and then publicly bragged about it, has been arrested, the online auctioneer says.

The hacker was arrested by Romanian law enforcement officials with the help of the US Secret Service, the FBI and eBay's global fraud investigation team, eBay said. The company wouldn't discuss additional details, and representatives from the Secret Service and the FBI couldn't be reached for comment.

According to Romanian news reports here and here, Vlad Constantin Duiculescu, 20, was arrested in a communist-era housing project in Bucharest. A court in that city remanded the suspect in custody for an initial 29 days.

Vladuz came to the public spotlight last year after acquiring credentials that allowed him to access employee-only sections of eBay's network. The breach allowed him to masquerade as an official eBay representative in user forums. Although he never offered proof, the hacker claimed to have the ability to gain full access to restricted parts of eBay.

The company strongly disagreed, saying Vladuz penetrated only limited parts of the system and never accessed sections where it handled administrative functions of the storage of credit card numbers.

Whatever the case, the breaches were an embarrassment to a company founded on the trust and safety of its members and fueled speculation by a small but vocal number of users that the hacker had built a backdoor into the system.

According to news reports, eBay pegged the total amount of damage caused by Vladuz at $1m. Undercover eBay investigators closed in on Duiculescu by pretending to be interested in buying one of his applications. He was arrested after he gave them his real address. ®

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