Computer Crime Research Center


Major Turkish hacker taken down by police

Date: September 18, 2008

Turkey's Haber 7 reports the country's police on Friday arrested "Cha0," an infamous hacker who stands accused of marketing a high-quality ATM skimmer that enabled fraudsters to rip off consumers' credit card and debit card information.

The report identifies Cha0 as Cagatay Evyapan, and Haber 7 was scheduled to publish a secret interview with him on Monday. I'd share its contents, but my Turkish is pretty rusty.

Described by as "a well-known figure in the credit card fraud underground, Cha0 markets a high-quality ATM skimmer and PIN pad that fraudsters can covertly affix to certain models of cash machines." He even provides a South Park-like video that gives suggestions on choosing an ATM skimmer location.

According to Wired, "The skimmer records the magstripe data on a consumer's debit or credit card as they feed it into an ATM, while the PIN pad overlay stores the user's PIN. The stolen magstripe data can later be encoded onto a blank card and used to make withdrawals from victims' accounts."

Cha0 was also allegedly involved with the kidnapping and torture of a hacker-turned-police informant, who goes by the pseudonym Kier. Prior to his brief abduction, Kier was helping Turkish media and national police investigate computer crimes -- including providing information on Cha0. In August, Kier claimed he was kidnapped and beaten by Cha0 and his associates. After describing the ordeal to Turkish reporters and indicating Cha0 was protected by Turkish officials, Kier soon vanished again. Cha0 denied involvement in the second disappearance.

For now, Cha0 is behind bars. Haber 7 has video of the police raid that netted Cha0, "including shots of credit card-related equipment one is not very likely to have lying around one's house," Wired says. Unlikely, that is, if you aren't a notorious Turkish hacker.
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