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Chinese earthquake hack scammer jailed

Rumbled before he could pocket the dough

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A Chinese man convicted of hacking into a Red Cross website as part of a money-making scam in the wake of the Sichuan earthquake has being jailed for two years.

Yang Litao, 23, was found guilty of fraud at a court in eastern Jiangsu after he broke into the website in an attempt to divert relief donations to a bank account under his control. He was jailed last week for two years. The attack occurred six days after the 12 May earthquake, official Chinese news agency Xinhua (via AFP) reports.

The quake - which weighed in at 7.9 on the Richter scale - left an estimated 70,000 dead, 18,000 missing, 374,176 injured and 4.8 million homeless.

Yang carried out the attempted fraud after using a stolen copy of a website admin's login credentials to post a fake notice encouraging donations to his bank account. He also planted malware on the website, forcing administrators to take it down for more than 24 hours and carry out a clean-up operation at a time when donations might otherwise have been rolling in.

The cracker's plan backfired, and he was cuffed before any donations made it into his account. ®

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