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Telecom Hacker Sentenced for Laundering Millions

Pakistani man sentenced to prison for hacking into PBX systems and generating millions of dollars via bogus premium phone calls and laundering the money.

A federal court sentenced a Pakistani telecom hacker to four years in prison, after he and his cohorts illegally infiltrated PBX systems run by companies and organizations to set up a fake premium phone service and laundered money, according to an FBI report.

Muhammad Sohail Qasmani was sent to prison for running the bogus premium phone service between November 2008 to December 2012 and generating more than $19.6 million. The money was laundered using 650 transferees in 10 different countries, according to the FBI.

As part of the scheme, the international group hacked into PBX telephone networks operated by companies and organizations. Once inside a company's PBX system, the group reprogrammed unused extensions to operate as a pay-per-minute premium service line. But instead, the group had dialers call the pay-per-minute numbers to rack up large phone bills, which the unsuspecting companies paid. Qasmani and his cohorts then collected those proceeds and laundered the money.

A major telecom provider discovered the fraud and reported it to the FBI. One of Qasmani's cohorts, Noor Aziz Uddin, is still at large.

Read more about the FBI sentencing here.

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