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12/13/2012
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The Biggest Hacker Busts Of 2012

No love for Lulz as cops crack down on cybercrooks

Russian Bot Herder: Dmitry Zubakha
Russian hacker and bot herder Dmitry Zubakha finally had the law catch up with him after a 2008 spree of DDoS attacks against e-commerce giants Amazon, eBay, and Priceline. In addition, he and a co-conspirator are alleged to have stolen more than 28,000 credit card numbers. In a move reminiscent of Al Capone's bust for tax evasion, Zubakha was arrested under an indictment for using the credit card and identity of one man in the small town of Lake Stevens, Washington. The 25-year-old is awaiting extradition from Cypress.

Credit Card Sting: Nikhil Kolbekar
The FBI's massive two-year Operation Card Shop rounded up dozens of cybercriminals this year, accused of stealing and selling credit card data which is then used for fraudulent purposes. The sweep targeted criminals in 12 countries. Kobekar was allegedly an industrious merchant specializing in "fulls," or complete credit card and identity information. On the side, he offered RDP info that would allow the buyer to access computers in several countries scattered across the globe. Kobekar was nabbed in Mumbai, India. The FBI hopes to extradite the subject to the US.

Crime And Punishment In Hacker Land: Hermes
A Russian man known only as Hermes was arrested last summer for operating a massive botnet focused on banking sites. The Russian interior Ministry estimates the number of compromised machines at 6 million or more, making it one of the largest botnets ever. Authorities say Hermes used a variation of Carberp and extensive phishing attempts to create upwards of 100,000 zombies per day. The unnamed 22-year old man allegedly used the stolen funds to live the high life, becoming known for his flashy clothes, cars, and lavish vacations.

You Can't Elude Agent Smith: Barrett Brown
The writer who adamantly denied being a spokesman for Anonymous yet seemed to find himself speaking for the group fairly often got booked with three federal charges in September. It's alleged that Brown feverishly and very publically threatened FBI agent Robert Smith with a wide variety of harm, physical and otherwise. His arrest became a bit of an internet phenomenon of its own: Brown was participating in an online chat at the time and in a YouTube video, the shouts of the agents can be heard over Brown's cries in the background. Brown has been slapped with additional charges stemming from the Stratfor breach earlier in the year.

Bitter Pill For TeaMp0isoN
After a few years of impressive accomplishments, Lulzsec-rival TeaMp0isoN hit a bit of a rough patch. Junaid Hussain, a budding young hactivist who, as a teenager, allegedly hacked and posted former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair's personal address book was arrested in Birmingham, England. The same man is suspected of clogging the national anti-terrorist hotline for 24 hours. Additionally, MLT, a17-year-old represented as a TeaMp0isoN spokesman, was arrested in Newcastle and detained on unspecified charges related to the group. It's alleged that other members have been arrested in the UK and St. Petersburg, Russia. The group also claimed responsibility for attacking pro-Israel sites or those critical of Islam.

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