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Colombian pleads guilty in Washington to computer fraud

In what prosecutors are calling one of the most complex cases of its type, a Colombian national has pleaded guilty (opens in new tab)to a 16 count indictment involving computer fraud affecting more than 600 people.

The case against Mario Simbaqueba Bonilla, aged 40, apparently involves a complex series of computer intrusions, aggravated identity thefts and credit card frauds (opens in new tab)designed to steal money from payroll, bank and other accounts of victims.

The slight bad news is that, since the defendant has pleaded guilty, his modus operandi will not be revealed in court.

However, newswire reports suggest that Bonilla used computers in Columbia to target the PCs of specific individuals in the US, including US Department of Defense staff.

Hey, way to go Mr Bonilla -Ed

Bonilla is alleged to have used the dosh to buy expensive electronics and luxury travel and accommodations in various countries, including Hong Kong, the Turks and Caicos Islands, France, Jamaica, Italy, Chile, and, as you might expect, the US.

According to some newswire reports (opens in new tab), Bonilla used keystroke logging software installed on PCs in hotel business centres and Internet lounges around the world to collate a variety of information on punters using these facilities.

He is then alleged to have used this data to access their bank, payroll, brokerage and other accounts online.

Complex stuff, but it just goes to show that you shouldn’t access your bank accounts online when away from your office or home computer system - just stick to downloading pr0n (opens in new tab), as it seems many people do when surfing from Internet cafes when I visit ‘em…