Cyber Gang Mastermind Arrested

Sophos: A teenager from New Zealand, believed to be the brains behind an international cyber gang, has been arrested



BOSTON -- IT security and control firm Sophos has welcomed news that a teenager from New Zealand, believed to be the brains behind an international cyber gang, has been arrested.

The gang was allegedly responsible for infecting more then one million computers, stealing bank and credit card information, and embezzling more than 20 million USD. It is suspected that the teenager, known only by his cyber moniker 'AKILL' was the head of the gang and began his hacking activity while still at school.

According to reports, the arrest, which is part of an international crackdown on cybercrime, came about following a joint operation between the FBI and police authorities in New Zealand and the Netherlands. Possible charges against the teenager could include unauthorized access to computers and possessing computer hacking tools - charges that carry a maximum sentence of ten years in prison. The teenager has been released without charge, but is reported to be helping police further with their investigations.

"Today’s cybercrime activity is much more sophisticated and targeted. It is big business for cybercriminals looking for an easy pay day," said Mike Haro, senior security analyst at Sophos. "The arrest of this individual shows that this type of malicious activity will not be tolerated. If global authorities continue to work together to combat cybercrime they can send a message to hackers and cybercriminals alike that they will face the consequences for their actions.”

Sophos plc

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