FBI cracks down on hacker-for-hire websites

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FBI cracks down on hacker-for-hire websites

Warwick Ashford

The FBI has arrested five people in connection with several websites offering hacking services.

Two men have been charged with running the sites that allegedly offered to gain access to email accounts. Three others were charged for paying for the hacking services, reports the BBC.

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The arrests coincided with a co-ordinated operation involving police in Romania, India and China.

Six other alleged administrators of such sites were arrested as part of the non-US part of the operation.

Four were arrested in Romania, one in India and one in China in connection with websites that allegedly offered to obtain a password for any email account for between $100 and $500.

In the US, Mark Anthony Townsend and Joshua Alan Tabor of Arkansas were charged with operating the needapassword.com website.

According to the FBI, the site offered to find passwords for about 6,000 email accounts.

If the two are found guilty they face up to five years in jail for computer fraud offences.

The other three people detained in the US were charged with paying more than $23,000 between them to similar hacker-for-hire websites outside the US to find passwords for a wide variety of email accounts.

If they are found guilty of paying a hacker to act on their behalf they face up to 12 years in jail.

In a statement, the FBI said it expected all five US defendants to plead guilty.

More on FBI operations


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