Case of Cybercrime Recalled by Expert in the Field


Absolute Poker in the midst of fraud case

A few years back, a cybercrime expert Mikko Hypponen was investigating a case of the London-based terrorism supporter Tariq Al-Dour, in which the Al-Khaida supporter got arrested for stealing credit cards through Russian-built botnets and then using them to push around $3.5 million through the online poker site Absolute Poker. It was reported that the gains were spent on outdoor gear and satellite phones which he sent to terrorism groups in the Middle East.

This week, Hypponen spoke at an anti-cybercrime conference in San Francisco, where he referred to the case, saying that he spent time combing the Internet to find evidence of what extremists, mostly Arab speaking but also Chechens from the Caucasus, are doing in terms of sophisticated use of technology online.

According to him, the current situation with extremist groups using high-tech hacking and bots “isn’t out of hand,” but there’s still loads of evidence that extremist groups are increasingly interested in high-tech, writing in slick multimedia online publications about Apache, PGP, NMAP, and creating their own public crypto keys, including those for basic instructions for bomb making.

In addition, Hypponen told reporters afterwards that he had “changed his original perception that high-tech terrorists don’t exist,” and that, on the contrary, he has found evidence of a growing focus on technology, encryption and hacking in online jihadist publications that now include topics such as an “Open Source Jihad” section to “Technical Mujahaden”.

On the other side, he specified that he has encountered some counter-terrorism initiatives by British Intelligence, which is trying to “trojanize fake versions of these publications so that if they’re downloaded, monitoring of possible terrorist activity could be achieved.”
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