[ISN] Hong Kong Computer Hacking Syndicate Smashed

From: cult hero (jerichoat_private)
Date: Wed Jun 02 1999 - 11:44:41 PDT

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    Hong Kong Computer Hacking Syndicate Smashed
    HONG KONG, CHINA, 1999 MAY 30 (Newsbytes) -- By Staff Writer, IT Daily.
    Hong Kong police arrested an organized group of computer hackers last
    week, seizing computers and CD-ROMS, after a five-month hunt. 
    The arrests marked the first time an organized hacking group has been
    arrested in Hong Kong. 
    Acting on complaints from several local Internet service providers (ISPs)
    that the accounts of their clients might had been hacked late last year,
    officers from the Computer Crime Section of the Commercial Crime Bureau
    (CCB) launched investigations in January, culminating in a series of raids
    last week. 
    Two men, including a suspected hacker and a middleman were arrested in the
    first two days of the operation starting on May 20. In all, ten men were
    arrested. The suspects were aged between 16 and 21 and included three
    hackers, six buyers of the passwords and a middleman who arranged the
    Operating as a syndicate, the hackers stole the passwords and personal
    information on legitimate Internet account holders and sold them. 
    The principal hacker collected information on over 200 accounts and sold
    them through a middleman to users who wanted cheap, unlimited Internet
    access. Hilton Chan, head of the Computer Crime Section of the CCB told
    ITDaily.com that most of the end-users wanted to use the time to access
    online gaming sites. 
    According to police, the buyers paid HK$350 (US$45.13) each for a month's
    access, and clocked up Internet time worth between HK$2,000 and HK$3,000
    ($257.88 and $386.82) each. Most local ISPs charge under HK$150 ($19.34)
    per month for unlimited usage, but users must still pay HK$1.98 ($0.26)
    per hour for the Public Non-Exclusive Telecommunications (PNETS) license
    The middleman communicated with its clients through telephone and the ICQ
    online cmessaging service. 
    Investigations also showed that one of the hackers set up a Web page on
    the Internet offering pirate music CDs for sale. Each disk featured over
    100 songs downloaded from the Internet or dubbed from copyrighted computer
    disks. The disks were selling for HK$88 ($11.35) each or HK$160 ($20.63)
    for two copies. 
    Ten sets computers and peripheral equipment believed to be used in the
    hacking and about 700 CD-ROMs were seized during the operation. 
    Chan said that the maximum penalty is five years' imprisonment. He also
    advised users to protect themselves against hackers. "Don't store your
    password on the computer terminal, and change your password more
    frequently," advised Chan. He also advised users not to use easy to
    replicate passwords and be careful when downloading from the Web. "If you
    don't know the source of it don't download it," Chan said. 
    Exchange Rate: $1 = HK$7.75
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