The Top Cyber Criminal Busts of 2011

Thursday, December 08, 2011

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2011 has been dubbed "the year of the hack" and "the year of the breach" by many, a title we can only hope holds true as we move into 2012, else we are in quite for a ride.

Dark Reading's Ericka Chickowski has assembled her picks for the top cybercrooks of 2011, and how they were busted by authorities.

"A torrent of attacks from groups like Anonymous, LulzSec, Goatse Security, and Antisec has made it a busy year for cybercrime investigators. While there are plenty of elusive hackers that will forever manage to outrun the law, the good guys scored some impressive arrests, indictments, and convictions in 2011," Chickowski writes.

The following are Chickowski's picks and brief excerpt about their capers:

1. Anonymous and LulzSec Hacker: Ryan Cleary

  • "Police raided the home of 19-year-old Brit Ryan Cleary and arrested him this summer for allegedly using distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks to take down the British Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) website this year..."

2. Ivy League Academic Content Turbo Downloader: Aaron Swartz

  •  "A programmer and fellow at Harvard University's Safra Center for Ethics, 24-year-old Aaron Swartz faced indictment this year after he downloaded more than 4 million academic articles from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) network connection to Jstor, an online academic repository..."

3. DNSchanger Creators: Vladimir Tsastsin, Timur Gerassimenko, Dmitri Jegorov, Valeri Aleksejev, Konstantin Poltev and Anton Ivanvov

  • "Lead by Tsastsin, this gang of thieves is accused of developing the DNSchanger malware to help perpetrate a profitable clickjacking scheme that netted it $14 million in stolen advertising views. The malware pioneered the method of using social engineering techniques to deliver unobtrusive payloads used to hijack victims' DNS settings..."

4. Sony Hacker: Cody Kretsinger

  • "Authorities detained and indicted Cody Kretsinger (a.k.a. "recursion") for allegedly carrying out the summer attack against Sony Pictures on behalf of LulzSec. Authorities apparently hunted down Kretsinger through the U.K.-based HideMyAss proxy server service provider he used..."

5. Anonymous' Inside Man at AT&T: Lance Moore

  • "Former AT&T Mobility contractor Lance Moore allegedly handed over to Anonymous tens of thousands of phone numbers, confidential server names with IP addresses, usernames, and passwords to log into them, plus corporate emails, presentation documents, and intellectual property that was used by the LulzSec/Antisec movement in a public data dump..."

6. Apple iPad Snoop: Andrew Auernheimer

  • "Authorities indicted Andrew Auernheimer (a.k.a. "weev"), a vocal member of Goatse Security, for his involvement in exposing a flaw in AT&T's Web security that the group used to acquire 114,000 email addresses belonging to iPad users, including notable celebrities, politicians, and businesspeople..."

7. Celebrity Hackerazzi: Christopher Chaney

  • "Celebrity-obsessed hacker Christopher Chaney took cyberstalking to a new level when he used publicly available information from celebrity blog sites to help him guess passwords to hack Google and Yahoo emails owned by 50 different stars, including Scarlett Johansson, Mila Kunis, and Christina Aguilera..."

8. Gucci Hacker: Sam Chihlung Yin

  • "A forensics investigation found that after he left the job, he called the company's IT department posing as the fake employee to get his former co-workers to activate the fob, and from there he used that access to perpetrate digital mayhem, deleting servers, destroying storage set-ups ,and wiping employee mailboxes..."

For the full story behind each case and more details on how the authorities nabbed the culprits, refer to Chickowski's full article at Dark Reading:

Source:  http://www.darkreading.com/security/attacks-breaches/232300124/the-most-notorious-cyber-crooks-of-2011-8211-and-how-they-got-caught.html

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