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Hackers allegedly paid by terrorists to compromise AT&T system

According to reports today, the FBI and Philippine law enforcement officers have arrested four people apparently paid by terrorists to hack into AT&T. The company have said their system has not been compromised.

The four people were arrested during the week in Manila, and have apparently been paid by the same Saudi Arabian based terrorist group identified by the FBI as behind the attack on Mumbai 3 years ago. A statement has been published online relating to this. The CIDG said “The hacking activity resulted in almost $2 million in losses incurred by the company”.

The people involved hacked into the PBX phone lines of various telecommunications companies, including AT&T. Money stolen via these hacks was transferred to bank accounts belonging to the terrorists, who then paid the hackers their ‘fee’.

The four suspects in the latest event are apparently working for a group organised by Muhammad Zamir, a Pakistani man who was arrested in 2007 by the FBI.

Gilbert Sosa, a police senior superintendent said in a statement “Zamir’s group, later tagged by the FBI to be the financial source of the terrorist attack in Mumbai, India, on November 26, 2008, is also the same group that paid Kwan’s group of hackers in Manila.”

AT&T did speak to Reuters about the incident and said “we ended up writing off some fraudulent charges that appeared on customer bills”. An AT&T spokeswoman Jan Rasmussen said “AT&T and its network were neither targeted nor breached by the hackers, AT&T only assisted law enforcement in the investigation that led to the arrest of a group of hackers.”

Kitguru says: 2011 has been a minefield of hacking and compromised systems. Where will it go from here in 2012?

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