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Hackers Behind AT&T Attack Arrested

Hackers linked to terrorist activities
Four people were arrested in the Philippines last week on charges that they hacked into the trunk lines of multiple U.S. telecommunication companies, including AT&T.

According to the Philippine National Police's Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), the hackers' activities led to losses of almost $2 million for AT&T alone. The director of the CIDG, Samuel D. Pagdilao Jr., said that the raids, conducted by both CIDG and FBI agents in the country's capital city of Manila, had led to the confiscation of computer and telecommunication equipment that authorities believe was used in the attacks.

The CIDG said it launched its investigation into the hackers after being contacted in March 2011 by the FBI, which had said it found evidence that hack attacks were being launched against AT&T from the Philippines. According to a statement from Gilbert Sosa, police senior superintendent for the CIDG's Anti-Transnational and Cyber Crime Division, the FBI had linked the local hacking group--via bank statements--to a "Saudi-based cell whose activities include financing terrorist activities." The hackers allegedly routed the money directly to the militant group, which then paid the hackers a commission via Philippine banks.

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