Feeds

Fugitive VOIP hacker cuffed in Mexico

More than 10 million minutes hijacked

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

A fugitive hacker accused of illegally rerouting millions of dollars worth of VOIP calls through telecommunications companies' networks has been apprehended in Mexico.

Edwin Andres Pena was arrested Friday by Mexican authorities, Assistant US Attorney Erez Liebermann said. He had been on the lam since August 2006, when he skipped out on a $100,000 bond secured by the Miami home that belonged to the mother of his girlfriend. The US government is seeking to have him extradited.

Pena and cohort Robert Moore were arrested in June of 2006 and charged with felony wire and computer fraud. They were accused of carrying out a scheme that routed more than 10 million minutes of voice-over-internet-protocol calls over the networks of a dozen or so telecommunications providers without their permission. The suspects breached the networks by using brute force attacks that continually cycled through a large number of possible security telephone prefixes until the precise codes were determined.

To conceal the ruse, Pena hired Moore to scan for vulnerable networks of unsuspecting companies. Pena routed the calls through the hacked networks to prevent the telecommunications companies from detecting the true source of the traffic. Between June and October of 2005, Moore used a single AT&T broadband account to perform more than 6 million scans, according to court documents.

Moore pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit computer fraud. He is currently behind bars serving a two-year sentence. He is expected to be released in the next several months, according to this blog.

Word of Pena's capture was reported earlier by Computerworld.

Because his scheme piggybacked off the resources of others, virtually all of Pena's revenue was profit. That allowed him to sell long-distance calls for as low as four-tenths of a cent per minute. The scheme cost each of the defrauded telecom providers an average of $300,000 in routing expenses, prosecutors said.

Pena deposited more than $1m into several bank accounts he opened to launder the proceeds. He also directed the money to be spent on residential real estate in Miami, a 40-foot Sea Ray Mercruiser boat, a 2004 BMW M3, and several other high-priced luxury vehicles. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Knock Knock tool makes a joke of Mac AV
Yes, we know Macs 'don't get viruses', but when they do this code'll spot 'em
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
Why weasel words might not work for Whisper
CEO suspends editor but privacy questions remain
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
BlackEnergy crimeware coursing through US control systems
US CERT says three flavours of control kit are under attack
China is ALREADY spying on Apple iCloud users, claims watchdog
Attack harvests users' info at iPhone 6 launch
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Getting ahead of the compliance curve
Learn about new services that make it easy to discover and manage certificates across the enterprise and how to get ahead of the compliance curve.