Filipino Police Arrest 4 Suspected AT&T Hackers

Investigators say the hacking cost AT&T $2 million

By DEE-ANN DURBIN
|  Saturday, Nov 26, 2011  |  Updated 11:51 AM CDT
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Filipino Police Arrest 4 Suspected AT&T Hackers

NBCDFW.com

An AT&T Blackberry

Four people have been arrested in the Philippines for allegedly hacking into AT&T's phone systems as part of a plan to funnel money to a Saudi-based terror group, according to police.

The Philippine Criminal Investigation and Detection Group said it worked with the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation to arrest the suspects late Thursday. The hackers, according to investigators, worked for a group that helped finance a deadly 2008 terrorist attack in Mumbai, India.

They say that the hacking cost AT&T around $2 million. A spokeswoman for AT&T said she couldn't immediately comment Saturday.

The arrests stemmed from a complaint filed by AT&T and the FBI.

AT&T Inc., based in Dallas, said last Tuesday that hackers unsuccessfully attempted to link mobile numbers with online customer accounts. It's unclear if that incident is linked to the arrests.

The hackers were working on commission for a terrorist group linked to Muhammad Zamir, according to the Philippine police. Zamir, a Pakistani, was arrested in Italy in 2007, where he was running a call center and allegedly buying information from Filipino hackers.

Since then, police said, Zamir's group has been taken over by a Saudi national. Philippine police didn't name the group, but India has blamed Lashkar-e-Taiba, a Pakistan-based militant organization, for the Mumbai attacks.

Three years ago Saturday, 10 Pakistan-based gunmen laid siege to India's financial hub, killing 166 people.

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