Thursday, March 26, 2009

$10 Million Stolen by Notorious Israeli hacker

Evidence is piling up against "the Analyzer," an Israeli hacker who was arrested in Canada in September 2008 for hacking into a Canadian credit and debit card issuer and siphoning cash out of the compromised accounts. According to an affidavit (PDF) obtained by Wired, authorities in the U.S. also linked him to several data breach incidents at financial institutions across the country, his actions causing losses of 10 million dollars.

The Analyzer, real name Ehud Tenenbaum, is an Israeli hacker who achieved international fame in 1998, when he was identified as the leader of a gang that hacked into computer systems belonging to the Pentagon, NASA, the U.S. Air Force and Navy, the Israeli Parliament, the Presidency, Hamas, the MIT, as well as other U.S. and Israeli universities.

For these actions, Tenenbaum got six months of suspended prison in Israel, was forced to six months of community service and received a fine of $18,000. Subsequently, he was hired by a local company as a security consultant, then moved to France for several years, and entered Canada on a six-month visitor's visa, in March 2008.

The 29-year-old hacker set up shop in Montreal, where he started a security consultancy company called Internet Labs Secure. He was arrested by the Canadian authorities in September 2008, along with his fiancee Priscilla Mastrangelo, his business partner Sypros Xenoulis, and one Jean Francois Ralph, on charges of conspiracy to commit and committing access device fraud.

According to the investigators, Tenebaum hacked into the computer network of the Direct Cash Management in Calgary, Alberta, and artificially inflated the accounts of pre-paid debit cards acquired by his accomplices. The gang then withdrew around $1.7 million from ATMs across Canada and the U.S., using the cards.

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