Phone hackers make FBI’s most wanted list

Phone hackers make FBI’s most wanted list

By Andy Gent

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation has added business telephone system hackers Farhan Arshad and Noor Aziz Uddin to its ‘Cyber’s Most Wanted’ list.

Pakistani nationals Arshad and Uddin are wanted for their alleged involvement in an international telecommunications scheme and hacking venture to defraud individuals, telecom companies, and government entities in the United States and abroad, resulting in losses exceeding $50 million. It is alleged that between 2008 and 2012, Arshad and Uddin gained unauthorized access to business telephone systems and used those systems to initiate long-distance telephone calls to premium rate numbers through a scheme known as international revenue share fraud. The conspiracy caused the owners of the compromised telephone systems to be billed for services they did not order.

Arshad and Uddin are part of an international criminal ring that the FBI believes extends into Pakistan, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, Spain, Singapore, Italy and Malaysia.

Arshad and Uddin were indicted for unauthorized access to a protected computer; conspiracy to gain unauthorized access to a protected computer; wire fraud; conspiracy to commit wire fraud; and identity theft.

Richard McFeely, executive assistant director of the Criminal, Cyber, Response, and Services Branch says: “Because cyber crime knows no boundaries, cyber criminals think they can hide overseas. But we are using our international partnerships and the publicity generated by our Cyber’s Most Wanted to ferret them out.”

Anyone with knowledge of anyone on the FBI’s list can submit a tip online. There is a $50,000 reward for information leading to the apprehension of either Arshad or Uddin.