On Monday, the Dutch public prosecutor demanded that a Frisian hacker be sentenced to four years in jail. The man is suspected of stealing personal information from hundreds of companies and private citizens.
By Jelte Stol / Translation by Traci White
The suspect allegedly used the stolen information to make purchases and to cheat family and friends of the people whose identities he had stolen. The public prosecutor suspects that the man made at least 100,000 euros through identity theft. The suspect will ultimately be sentenced in court, and the length of the sentence may differ from the prosecutor’s recommendations.
The investigation into the man’s activities got rolling after a complaint was filed to a web shop. It quickly became apparent that the suspect, who had been living in Leeuwarden and Sneek over the past six years, had been committing large-scale identity theft and fraudby hacking personal information.
The man, who was born in Vietnam and was brought to the Netherlands as a baby in 1981, was arrested at a hotel in Zwolle. His computer was taken into custody as part of the investigation. His former home in Leeuwarden and his ex-partner’s home in Sneek were also investigated, where additional computer equipment was removed.
The investigation determined that the man approached companies and offered to build websites for them. He built several different webshops for businesses, but he built a script into the site which would intercept user names and passwords, which he would use in turn to access their email and social media accounts.
He used the stolen information to make purchases at other web shops and to open accounts at online gambling sites. He also posed as the people whose identities he stole to trick family and friends of the victims into transferring him money.