Teenager behind GBP 10 m cyber-heist

A 18-year old New Zealander has been arrested after he was accused of being the ring leader of a hacking network, working with an American partner who has already been arrested.

The teenager whose online identity is Akill is said to control thousands of Zombie computers worldwide, although the F.B.I has suggested that more than 1 million computers in Holland were compromised by the group, costing a total of USD 25 million.

The computers were loaded with key-logging software which collected bank account details and forwarded them to the criminals who would then empty the bank accounts of their victims.

The authorities suspect that the computers could have been used to launch Denial of Service attacks or send spam or virus-infected emails to other computers as well.

The New Zealand police's electronic crime centre head, Martin Kleintjes said that the teenager was a bright lad who went wrong, adding that he hired his services to other criminals.

Described as a brilliant loner, the teenager who was minor at the time of the arrest has now turned 18 and will be named publicly. If convicted, he faces ten years in prison.