Hacking arrests, while not a plentiful as victims would like, are beginning to mount as a joint effort between U.S. and Philippine authorities busted four members of a hacker collective suspected to have attempted a hack AT&T.
The investigation that led to the arrest of the Filipinos started in March when the FBI requested the aid of Criminal Investigation and Detection Group’s Anti-Transnational and Cyber Crime Division (CIDG-ATCCD) concerning a hacking operation targeting AT&T.
The suspects, aged between 21 and 31, who officials believed got their funding from a Saudi Arabian terrorist group, caused damage of up to $2 million to the communications company, officials said.
The suspects are in custody after the FBI and the ATCCD raided several locations in the Metro Manila area. The raid netted computer and telecommunications equipment believed used in the attacks.
One of the suspected hackers, Paul Michael Kwan, faced similar charges in 2007 as a result of an international operation led by the FBI and Philippine authorities.
This is not the only reason why law enforcement representatives believe there is a connection to terrorist funding activities. ATCCD chief Gilbert Sosa said in 1999 when the FBI was investigating a series of hacking operations targeting telecom companies, they uncovered a trail of banking records linking local hackers to terrorists.
It turns out there are connections to criminal organizations from Pakistan and India since in 2007. A Pakistani man suspected of funding operations in India, also supplied the necessary funds for the Filipinos.