New Age Robin Hood – Algerian Hacker Hamza Donated Over 200 Million Dollar
Merih News: Hamza Bendelladj – Is the Algerian hacker a hero?
Hamza Bendelladj will be sentenced after allegedly stealing from US banks and giving to charities. Depending on who you ask, Hamza Bendelladj is either a Robin Hood-esque hero or a cyber-age hoodlum.
The 27-year-old Algerian computer science graduate will be sentenced on Tuesday in a US court for using a computer virus to steal money from more than 200 American banks and financial institutions. He then reportedly gave millions of dollars to Palestinian charities.
Bendelladj, who is alleged to be the co-creator of a banking trojan horse called SpyEye, was indicted in absentia by US authorities in 2011. The program – a malware toolkit that saw its popularity peak between 2009 and 2011 – is believed to have infected more than 1.4 million computers in the US and elsewhere, according to Wired, a San Francisco-based technology magazine. The software enabled users to steal login information for online financial accounts, which they then pillaged.
On Tuesday, Bendelladj, who hails from Tizi Ouzou in Algeria, will be sentenced in court in the US state of Georgia. He has already pleaded guilty and faces a prison sentence of more than 65 years and up to $14m in fines, according to the US Department of Justice.
It took two years for Bendelladj, known in the online world as Bx1, to be apprehended. Authorities in Thailand arrested him on their soil and extradited him to the US in 2013. He was dubbed the “happy hacker” because he was photographed smiling as he was taken into custody at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport.
American law enforcement officers identified Bendelladj when he allegedly sold a copy of the SpyEye virus to an undercover officer for $8,500.
“Bendelladj‘s alleged criminal reach extended across international borders, directly into victims’ homes,” said US attorney Sally Quillian Yates, on May 3, 2013, on the same day Bendelladj‘s 23-count indictment was revealed. It included charges related to wire, bank, and computer fraud.