Computer Crime Research Center


Turkish hacker had ambitious plans, police discover

Date: September 01, 2008

The world's number two hacker, Ercan Fındıkoğlu, who has proven quite a nuisance for many US banks, was about to empty the bank accounts of another 1 million people had he not been apprehended, the police have said. Although sentenced to up to 200 years in the US, he will be sentenced to only two or three years in Turkey.

Fındıkoğlu was taken into custody by the police after a four-year chase by the Anti-Smuggling and Organized Crime Bureau. When his computer's password was cracked, the police found that he was in possession of credit card information for 1 million people. One file alone contained the account information for 50,000 US citizens.

The investigation, codenamed Virtual Earthquake, targeted Metin C. and Mehmet Ali M., who acted as couriers for Fındıkoğlu and had considerable wealth as well. The police secretly recorded how Metin C. and Mehmet Ali M. withdrew money from ATMs using replicated credit cards. Metin C. used his share to buy a luxury yacht, named "Drunk," worth 150,000 euros, while Mehmet Ali C. purchased a sports BMW motorcycle for $100,000. The police also found that the couriers participated in the grand yacht race held in Bodrum on May 4-8, 2008, with this yacht.

Phone calls by the suspects revealed interesting details. In one phone call, Mehmet Ali M. was too lazy to take a bag containing $400,000 to his house on the second floor, but threw it onto the balcony. Then, he called his mother and said: "Mom, I threw a bag onto the balcony. I will come and pick it up tomorrow."
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