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Serial hacker admits breaching Federal Reserve computers

Faces 10 years in slammer

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A Malaysian national has admitted hacking a computer network operated by the US Federal Reserve Bank and possessing stolen payment card data.

Lin Mun Poo, 32, entered a guilty plea on Wednesday in US District Court in Brooklyn. In November, prosecutors brought a four-count indictment against him that charged him with fraud, aggravated identity theft, unlawful transmission of computer code, and unauthorized access involving government information.

According to prosecutors, Poo made a career of hacking financial institutions, defense contractors and corporations and selling the data he stole. One of his victims included FedComp, a data processor for more than 2,500 credit unions. The attack allowed Poo to access data from multiple credit unions across the country.

He was arrested in October a few hours after arriving at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. Federal agents recovered a “heavily encrypted laptop computer” that included account data for more than 400,000 credit card, debit card and bank account numbers, prosecutors said in court documents. Just prior to apprehending Poo, agents observed him selling stolen credit card numbers for $1,000 at a diner in Brooklyn.

Poo pleaded guilty only to the charge of access device fraud, but admitted hacking in to the Federal Reserve and installing malicious code on a server. He faces a maximum of 10 years in prison. Sentencing is scheduled for September. ®

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