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Hacker, 26, Sees Record Prison Sentence of 336 Years

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On Sunday, a 26-year old hacker was sentenced for the theft and subsequent sale of credit card information to other cyber criminals.

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Onur Kopçak, a 26-year old Turkish hacker, will serve a record 334 years in prison.

Kopçak saw a sentence of 135 years approved by the Mersin third Criminal Court of General Jurisdiction on Sunday, as reported by CNNTurk. The new sentence adds to a previous 199-year sentence from 2013, convicted for a similar hacking ploy that he carried out with 11 other hackers at the time.

In 2013, the then 24-year old hacker was a part of a dozen-strong black-hat hacker collective. The group engaged in a phishing scam which had at least 43 bank customers filing complaints that their credit card information was copied and stolen. The scheme was carried out through expertly designed websites that replicated several banks’ websites, enabling Kopçak and his group of hackers to obtain crucial login information of targeted banking users.

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At the time, Kopçak was convicted for an array of charges including identify fraud, access device fraud, website forgery and wire fraud.

Following complaints and a subsequent investigation, the Criminal Court of Appeals for the 8th circuit sentenced Kopçak to 199 years, 7 months and 10 days in prison, in 2013.

135 More Years

The latest sentencing comes as a result of another case which saw a similar method of alleged fraud and credit card theft involving 11 individual’s credit card information.

Altogether, Onur Kopçak is now sentenced to 334 years in prison. The duration of the sentence which spans several lifetimes is easily the largest known prison sentence handed to a malicious hacker for his misdeeds.

Citing the staggering length of the prison sentences handed down to him, Kopçak and his legal advisor(s) sought a lower 35-year sentence, even though the hacker decided against appealing the decision.

In a letter sent to the court, Kopçak stated that “the decision of the state Supreme Court institution [is one] that I did not deserve in any way,” he pleaded for the lowered sentence. In his letter, he stated he was sure that those convicting him “do not even remember the color of my skin.”

Notorious hackers who have cost corporations hundreds of millions of dollars in credit card theft see a decade or two handed down as a sentence. Some of them figure in our list of most notorious hackers of all time.

The case of Ross Ulbricht, the alleged founder of online drug marketplace Silk Road, is arguably the highest profile conviction of an alleged cybercriminal. The case saw Ulbricht appeal his lifetime sentence and plead for more lenient sentence in a letter to the sentencing judge. The alleged mastermind of Silk Road asked the Judge to “leave a light at the end of the tunnel,” pleading to “leaving me my old age.” The appeal was dismissed.

Onur Kopçak is currently serving time at the Osmaniye prison in the southern Adana province in Turkey.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. timbo

    January 12, 2016 at 9:42 pm

    It’s OK to rape and murder, but don’t u dare steal my money….pure greedy BS. And we wonder y there r terrorists. Our morals are so ass backwards, and life is so cheap to us, we send a thief to jail for four or five lifetimes, (which in itself is absurd. No one lives that long, just say life and be done with it!!) but drug dealers, rapists, wife beaters, child abusers….. a decade or two, to make u realize u were a bad boy/girl. Then get back into the world and try not to do it again. What the hell ppl?? What the hell?? How does this pass as justice??

  2. koconor100

    January 13, 2016 at 9:20 pm

    hack a computer. Go to jail for a year (as an example)
    Hack a thousand computers … wow that really adds up , doesn’t it ?

    Guilty as charged. no mercy.
    And get the heck out of my computer and off my internet. I have no
    sympathy for you.

  3. Baz

    January 15, 2016 at 8:07 am

    43 bank customers filed complaints!!!!!!!!
    Do you realize how annoying it is to navigate those phone systems
    I’m surprised he didn’t get 10 thousand years

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Cybersecurity

The Pirate Bay is Hijacking PCs to Stealth-Mine Cryptocurrency

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For the second time in as many months, The Pirate Bay has been caught mining cryptocurrency on your computer without consent. The torrent platform was actually test-driving cryptocurrency mining in your browser – no doubt a lucrative revenue stream.

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The Pirates Are At It Again

The Pirate Bay has been caught using software called Coinhive, a JavaScript library that essentially serves as a cryptocurrency miner. It basically connects to visitors’ computers to mine Monero, one of the world’s most profitable cryptocurrencies.

The news was later confirmed by Bleeping Computer, which reported that,”The Pirate Bay, the internet’s largest torrent portal, is back at running a cryptocurrency miner after it previously ran a short test in mid-September.”

Estimates indicate that the scheme has earned the pirates a total of $43,000 over a three-week period.

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Users had no way to opt their computers out of being test-driven by the torrent network. Back in September, The Pirate Bay got away by telling people it was just a test. The site’s owners cannot use the same excuse this time around.

CoinHive advises websites to let their visitors  know their browser is being used to mine cryptocurrency.

“We’re a bit saddened to see that some of our customers integrate CoinHive into their pages without disclosing to their users what’s going on, let alone asking for their permission,” the company said.

The good news is most ad-blockers and antivirus programs will block CoinHive, given its recent abuses. That means not all visitors of The Pirate Pay were being used as a conduit for mining Monero.

Monero Joins Global Crypto Rally

The value of Monero (XMR) shot up nearly 8% on Friday, and was last seen trading at $94.17. With more than 15.2 million XMR tokens in circulation, the total market cap for Monero is $1.4 billion, according to CoinMarketCap. That’s enough for ninth on the global cryptocurrency list.

Twelve cryptos have now crossed the $1 billion valuation mark. A handful of others have made their way north of $500 million.

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Ethereum Notches Two-Month High as Bitcoin Offspring Triggers Volatility

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Digital currency Ethereum climbed to a two-month high on Monday, taking some of the heat off Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash, which have slumped since the weekend.

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Ethereum Forges Higher Path

Concerns over Bitcoin created a favourable tailwind for Ethereum (ETH/USD), which is the world’s No. 2 digital currency by total assets. Ether’s price topped $340.00 on Monday and later settled at $323.54. That was the highest since June 20.

At its peak, ether was up 10% on the day and 70% for the month of August.

The ETH/USD was last down 2.2% at $315.02, according to Bitfinex. Prices are due for a brisk recovery, based on the daily momentum indicators.

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Fractured Bitcoin Community

Bitcoin and its offshoot, Bitcoin Cash, retreated on Monday following a volatile weekend. The BTC/USD slumped at the start of the week and was down more than 3% on Tuesday, with prices falling below $3,900.00. Just last week, Bitcoin was trading at new records near $4,500.00.

Bitcoin Cash, which emerged after the Aug. 1 hard fork, climbed to new records on Saturday, but has been in free-fall ever since. The BTH was down another 20% on Tuesday to $594.49, according to CoinMarketCap. Its total market value has dropped by several billion over the past two days.

Analysts say that a “fractured” Bitcoin community has made Ethereum a more attractive bet this week. The ether token has shown remarkable poise over the past seven days, despite trading well shy of a new record.

Other drivers behind Ethereum’s advance are steady demand from South Korean investors and growing confidence in a smooth upgrade for the the ETH network. The upgrade, which has been dubbed “Metropolis,” is expected in the next several weeks. Its key benefits include tighter transaction privacy and greater efficiency.

Ethereum Prices Unaffected by ICO Heist

Fin-tech developer Enigma was on the receiving end of a cyber-heist on Monday after hackers took over the company’s website, mailing list and instant messaging platforms. The hack occurred three weeks before Enigma’s planned Initial Coin Offering (ICO) for September 11.

In addition to defacing the company’s website, the hackers pushed a special “pre-sale” ahead of the ICO. While many users realized it was a scam, 1,492 ether tokens – valued at $495,000 – were directed into the hackers’ cryptocurrency wallet by unsuspecting backers.

The irony in all this is that Engima is a cryptography company that prides itself on top-notch security protocols. The company issued a statement that its servers had not been compromised.

ETH/USD (Bitfinex)

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Cybersecurity

Spotting a Well-Made Investment Scam

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For every reasonably safe investment, there are 1000 scams and 10,000 reasonably toxic investments. Self-served advertising via social media and search engines exacerbates the problem – people sometimes click ads they think were search results, or, as humans are intended to, simply consumes the content on the screen instead of paying attention to where they’re being redirected to.

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In this article we will review a recent example of a well-executed investment scam.

The intended victim, who did not actually get scammed but alerted this author to the hustle, was led to believe that the above image was redirecting to a CNN news article. This is the actual URL the link went to:

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http://cnn.com-cat.press/anonymous-is-going-after-global-stock-market/?aref=http%3A%2F%2Ftrck.anony.trade%2Fsite%2Fredirectpage%3Fsid%3D99462%26hv%3Dgjalu5988de395a461839785307%26hid%3D264193#!

Now if you visit com-cat.press, all you see is a directory listing. This site’s entire purpose is to make people believe they are visiting legitimate .com websites, when in fact they are visiting others. It doesn’t always have to be a scam, sometimes it is simple an advertisement, but often enough it is a definite funnel to a scam. In this case, here’s where you wind up, at a place that looks an awful lot like CNN Money:

Again, this is not a real article on CNN. This is promotion for 10Markets.eu.

10Markets.eu is extremely professional looking. The platform looks to capture your details even just for demo trading. Most traders expect hurdles, so one can imagine tons of phone numbers and e-mail addresses entered:

The demo trading screen never loaded for this analyst, but the phone number is fake anyway. Took it from a coffee shop in Germany. Funnily, it appears the German exchange code is 030 in the first place, but you can’t edit that part. They also don’t allow you to visit the site at all if you’re in North America.

The tipster was clever enough to find out if 10Markets.eu was a registered broker or not. They’re not. According to ForexBrokerz.com:

10Markets is a forex and CFD broker that is headquartered in Scotland [sic] and supports the popular MetaTrader 4 platform. It is not licensed by any authority and there is not much information about the trading conditions on its website. What is worse, this broker is present in the warning lists of UK’s FCA, Australia’s ASIC and Cyprus’ CySEC, so we don’t recommend doing business with 10Markets.

There are review websites which help. Regarding 10Markets, we came up with this one.

The tipster happens to have been our own Jonas Borchgrevink. He is equipped with years of experience in website publishing, and this is why he quickly noticed that he was not reading a CNN article. The sad fact is that a high percentage of people who read that article believe it to be real, and a percentage of those people end up getting scammed. As such, here is a checklist for new trading outfits that you haven’t used or heard about before:

  • Always try to get phone support right away. Before creating an account. If no one answers or there is anything suspicious, this is a scam.
  • Always search for “[EXCHANGE NAME]” + “scam,” and read carefully any results that come up. Most scams could stop at one person if others listened to that one.
  • In the US, you can use FINRA to check the legitimacy of an exchange or broker. In the UK, you have FCA. Many countries have sites like these, and it’s important to check the one from the country where the broker does business.
  • Use ad blockers at least when legitimately searching for financial solutions.
  • Check the URL! For every legitimate exchange website, there are a few fake ones designed to steal your account information.

In The Event That You Spot A Scam

Tattle! Spread the word far and wide, not just so others don’t get scammed, but also to give authorities the jump on the thieves. Otherwise, they may exit and get away with all the money before anyone stops them.

Important: Never invest money you can't afford to lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here.



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