Bacolod City, Philippines
March 23, 2007
Seven persons are being held by the police for questioning after they
were found in the act of hacking the networks during a major offensive
launched by joint law enforcement units in Metro Manila recently.
The hackers were found to have illegally intruded into 2,500 private
telecommunication networks in the Philippines, United States of America,
Canada, Australia and three European countries.
The campaign was jointly spearheaded by the Directorate for
Investigation and Detective Management, Criminal Investigation and
Detection Group and the National Capital Region Police Office, a press
release from the CIDG in Camp Crame said yesterday.
Philippine National Police Chief Oscar Calderon said he ordered the
crackdown after complaints of massive network intrusion originating from
Metro Manila piled up in his office from corporate users here and
Among those hardest hit was American Telephone and Telegraph which
reported a net loss of over $38 million in the past two years as a
result of this "hacking" activity by Filipino hackers.
"I have formed a Task Force to address this problem to be led by DIDM
Director, P/Director Geary Barias to conduct a deeper probe into these
incidents and apply the full force of the law against those responsible
for these illegal activities." Calderon said.
A joint investigation conducted by the fraud experts from the US and the
Philippines found sufficient evidence and information leading to the
identification of the hackers and their locations, the press release
Barias reported that among those nabbed was 34-year-old Mahmoud Sahyeh
Ogcah Musher, alias Mahmoud Nuseir, a Jordanian national who was
arrested in September 2002 and presented by President Gloria Arroyo.
Mahmoud was allegedly a head of a local hacking ring, responsible for
hacking into PLDT telecommunication systems to gain unlawful access and
sell the connection for a fee to an international syndicates involved in
illegal call reselling operations. He has also linked Mahmoud to an
international cyber terrorist group providing anonymous communications
links for their partisans to avoid detection and monitoring by lawful
Seized during the raids were two computer systems, various
telecommunication equipment and a large cache of incriminating documents
indicating the networks they have attacked and the members of their
community in Metro Manila and abroad, the press release added.*
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