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Pakistani FIA Busts Hackers Gang ‘PAKbugs’

The Pakistani Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) detained 5 people from PAKbugs a globally known hacking syndicate, during the 2nd week of July 2010.

Following the busting of this gang, the Pak government issued a press statement describing PAKbugs as infamous for defacing websites.

As per the statistics released by Zone-H (an archive of Web defacement), the members of PAKbugs defaced 1,720 websites during April-December 2009. Among these, 1,711 assaults were bulk defacements, wherein over 1 website was hacked at every instance. These websites belong to the Pak government, international bodies and non-government agencies.

According to the press release, the alleged hackers apparently were experts in several kinds of cyber crimes like SQL injection, botnet management, computer Trojans, phishing, keyloggers, stealers, PHP scripts, as well as stolen payment card usage and payment cards jacking.

Besides the Pakistan government, F-Secure (the Finnish net security company) said that Pakbugs.com represented a forum for cyber crime providing a full time utility. It also acted as a venue for talking about hacking techniques as well as a centre for trading stolen payment card details, bank logins, and malware code, as reported by TheRegister on July 13, 2010.

It is said that in 2009, the Pakbugs.com was hacked and the person responsible for it posted secret data on a Full Disclosure e-mail catalog. The data consisted of password hashes, e-mail addresses and logins, F-Secure added.

Whilst providing the details about the new investigation, Mian Idrees, Senior Officer of FIA, stated that officials confiscated PCs as well as other equipment used for different cyber-crimes, as reported by AFP during the 2nd week of July 2010.

Idrees further said that Jawad Ehsan (known as Humza and who founded PAKbugs) continued to be active and perhaps stayed in Saudi Arabia. However, Idrees dismissed the claim that the hackers were carrying out terrorist activities. According to him, they had been accused of just e-crimes.

In the meantime, it is important to note that Pakistan, combating high-tech crimes and terrorism, during 2008 announced that cyber-terrorism would be regarded as a capital offence, while e-crime and fraud could lead to imprisonment for 7-10 years.

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