Federal Reserve Hacker Lin Mun Poo Pleads Guilty

By Fahmida Y. Rashid  |  Posted 2011-04-15 Print this article Print

A Malaysian man accused of hacking into a Federal Reserve computer pleaded guilty to possessing stolen credit and debit card numbers.

Government prosecutors said the defendant, Lin Mun Poo, planned to sell the credit and debit card numbers he stole to others. Poo entered his guilty plea on one count of fraud in a Brooklyn federal court on April 13.

He faces up to 10 years in prison under federal guidelines. His sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 13. The defendant's lawyer, Kannan Sundaram, confirmed the details of the plea and possible sentence to Reuters.

"Our society's reliance on digital infrastructure means that cyber-criminals around the world, such as the defendant, threaten our country's national and financial security," United States Attorney Loretta Lynch said.

Poo was accused of possessing more than 400,000 credit card and debit card numbers and selling them for $1,000 each from a Brooklyn restaurant prior to his Oct. 21 arrest by the Secret Service.

Prosecutors also accused him of hacking into the computer system of the Federal Reserve Bank in Cleveland by exploiting a vulnerability he found. The branch said at least 10 computers were hacked in June. Even though the hacking involved a "test" system and no data was compromised, the branch still claimed thousands of dollars of damages. He was also accused of being behind the attack on a U.S. Department of Defense contractor who helped manage military transport operations.

Prosecutors do not believe the stolen credit card numbers came from the Federal Reserve systems but from other financial institutions.

Poo had already attacked servers "belonging to financial institutions, defense contractors, and major corporations, among others, and selling or trading the information contained therein for exploitation by others," the government said in court documents.

"The defendant also admitted that he compromised a computer server belonging to the Federal Reserve Bank, and that he installed a malicious code onto that server," the Department of Justice said in a statement.

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