FBI arrests NullCrew hacker for cyber attacks on Sony and Time Warner

The FBI has arrested a 20-year-old man from state of Tennessee on hacking and cybercrime charges, believing that he is a key member of the NullCrew hacking group behind the cyber-attacks on high profile institutions around the world.

According to the court file his name is Timothy Justin French, going with the online handle of “Orbit”, who was part of hacking attacks against three US based universities, media and three major telecom companies in Canada.

NullCrew got fame in 2012 from their first hack in which Sony Mobile’s official website was hacked and data leaked on Pastebin. The highly skilled group also hacked Time Warner Company’s website for supporting the Copyright Alert System.


Experts believe that NullCrew has deep connection with the Anonymous hacking collective, due to similarity in their hacks and targets.

  • According to the FBI, a “confidential witness” engaged members of the NullCrew team in conversation on Skype, Twitter, and the encrypted messaging system Cryptocat, and won their trust. These conversations included discussions on past and future attacks and the sharing of vulnerabilities used in the attacks.
  • Based on this information, the FBI tracked the IP address of one of the computers used in five attacks as well as during online attacks with the Fed’s stool pigeon, and linked it to French’s address in Tennessee. He was arrested without incident and is being held in custody ahead of charges, which will be filed in Chicago.
  • “Cyber crime sometimes involves new-age technology but age-old criminal activity ? unlawful intrusion, theft of confidential information, and financial harm to victims,” said Zachary Fardon, US Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, in a statement.

“Hackers who think they can anonymously steal private business and personal information from computer systems should be aware that we are determined to find them, to prosecute pernicious online activity, and to protect cyber victims,” Fardon said.

French will be fine $250,000 and ten years in prison if proven guilty.

Source: V3.

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