In what appears to be one of the most shocking hack attacks to have taken place, two Vietnamese men have been indicted by the US district court for hacking into eight Email service providers and stealing an astounding 1 Billion email addresses among other confidential information.
Out of the two indicted Vietnamese men, Giang Hoang Vu, 25 was arrested back in 2012 by the Dutch law enforcement and extradited to the U.S. a year ago. The police are still looking for the other one, Viet Quoc Nguyen, 28. The two also had an accomplice, or rather a partner, a David-Manuel Santos Da Silva, 33, of Montreal. The canadian was indicted for conspiracy to money laundering. He helped Hoang Vu and Quoc Nguyen to generate revenue by sending spam emails to the millions of users from the hacking and thus laundering the money in the end.
Santos Da Silva was was co-owner of a Canadian corporation named 21 Celsius. According to the documents submitted to court, the corporation ran an e-commerce websites marketbay.com. He allegedly had an affiliate marketing deal with Hoang Vu and Quoc Nguyen which helped them generate revenue through the stolen email addresses by sending spam and bogus emails.
The hacking, which ran from February 2009 to June 2012, is undoubtedly one of the longest running attacks and probably also one of the largest hack attacks to have ever taken place. The U.S. Department of Justice also went on to announce that it is most assuredly the largest data breach in U.S. history. Also reiterated by the Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell, who said that this is the largest data breach of names and email addresses “in the history of the Internet”. According to Department of Justice, the three of them were generating US$2 million in sales which took place between May 2009 and October 2011.
No amount of security is proving to be enough for many high profile companies who are being targeted at regular intervals by some or the other hacker or a group. In last few years, we have seen some infamous ones such as Target hacking, the Botnet attack, the Adobe security breach, Vodafone Germany data theft and LivingSocial hacking to name a few.
No other information has come to light so far from the proceedings, we will post an update as soon as we see more information. In the meanwhile, we would advise you to take all the security precautions you can take for the emails and the data you store online. We highly recommend to not fall prey to the bogus or spam emails.