Feeds

Fugitive VOIP hacker cuffed in Mexico

More than 10 million minutes hijacked

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Rupert Murdoch says Google is worse than the NSA
Mr Burns vs. The Chocolate Factory, round three!
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Germany 'accidentally' snooped on John Kerry and Hillary Clinton
Dragnet surveillance picks up EVERYTHING, USA, m'kay?
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
Who needs hackers? 'Password1' opens a third of all biz doors
GPU-powered pen test yields more bad news about defences and passwords
Think crypto hides you from spooks on Facebook? THINK AGAIN
Traffic fingerprints reveal all, say boffins
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
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.