Hamza Bendelladj, cyber crime, FBI | Bangkok Post: learning

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Happy hacker (updated)

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When alleged cyber-criminal Hamza Bendelladj was arrested at Suvarnabhumi Airport on January 6, all he could do was smile. He has remained out of sight since then and only a few details have emerged on his case. 

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Algerian national Hamza Bendelladj seemed to enjoy the attention he received after his arrest at Suvarnabhumi Airport for alleged cyber crimes. He hasn't been seen since and few details have been made public on his case. SOMCHAI POOMLARD

This story was first published in early January and, apart from one update, little new information has come out. People are still interested, however, and we get many new readers every day. Hamza even has a Facebook page in support of his release. (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Hamza-bendelladj/357944747637704) Maybe it's because he looks so happy and harmless.


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Still few details in Happy Hacker case

There has been a lot of interest in Hamza Bendelladj, the so-called "smiling hacker", but two weeks after his arrest, few details have emerged.

We do know he was arrested on January 6 while his plane was on the tarmac at Suvarnabumi airport. He was travelling with his family following a holiday in Malaysia en route to Cairo, Egypt.

The arresting officer, Pol Maj Prot Sertakij from the Immigration Police said Hamza did not resist.  ''He just said goodbye to his family and followed us. Then his wife and daughter continued on their journey to Egypt without him.''

Pol Maj Prot said Hamza was arrested for banking fraud at the request of the United States and was now under the detention of the Criminal Court in Thailand.

''The arrest warrant was issued by the Criminal Court,'' he said. ''The arrest warrant specifically mentioned that bail is not allowed.''

Pol Maj Prot said Hamza would have to go through the Thai court process before any ruling is made on extradition.

The prosecutor's department of the Criminal Court could not say when Hamza would appear in court next. However, a spokeswoman for the department said more charges would be laid against the Algerian.

Thai police said earlier that Hamza had hacked into private accounts in 217 banks and financial companies around the world, earning up to US$20 million (595.6 million baht) per transaction and amassing huge amounts in illicit earnings.

Brian Krebs, an internet security expert and former Washington Post journalist, wrote on his blog that Hamza had likely contacted him via Instant Messenger alias bx1 early last year: ''The man I chatted with was proud of his work, and seemed to enjoy describing successful attacks."

Mr Krebs told the Bangkok Post Sunday he is unsure why bx1 would brag about his exploits to him.

''Perhaps he was hoping I would write a story about his exploits. Despite what many experts say – that most criminal hackers seek riches over renown these days – many of these individuals are extremely proud and have big egos, which sometimes leads them to welcome attention to their misdeeds.''

Adapted from a story by Ezra Kyrill Erker & Chaiyot Yongcharoenchai from the Sunday edition of the Bangkok Post.You can read the full story here: http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/crimes/331661/secrecy-shrouds-smiling-hacker-case-as-us-keeps-coy

national – a citizen of a particular country  ประชาชน
attention – interest, especially interest that the public has in a person, event, situation etc ความสนใจ
arrest – (of the police) taking someone to a police station because they are believed to have committed a crime การจับกุม
alleged – claimed to be true although not yet proven ที่ถูกกล่าวหา
cyber- – connected with electronic communication networks, especially the Internet  ไซเบอร์, คำนำหน้าหมายถึงคอมพิวเตอร์
details – small facts or pieces of information relating to a situation รายละเอียด
hacker – a person who secretly finds a way of looking at and/or changing information on somebody else's computer system without permission  ผู้ที่มีความชำนาญในการใช้คอมพิวเตอร์ไปในทางที่ผิดกฎหมาย เช่น แอบขโมยข้อมูลจากคอมพิวเตอร์ในเครือข่าย
arrest – (of the police) taking someone to a police station because they are believed to have committed a crime การจับกุม
emerge – to become known  เป็นที่ประจักษ์ต่อ
tarmac – an area with a Tarmac surface (a black material used for making road surfaces, that consists of small stones mixed with tar), especially at an airport  ยางมะตอย
en route – on the way; bound for; while travelling from/to a particular place มุ่งหน้าไป, ระหว่างทางไปถึงจุดหมายปลายทาง
immigration (bureau) – the government agency dealing with people entering and leaving the country and those who want to live there สำนักงานตรวจคนเข้าเมือง
resist arrest – to refuse to be taken away by the police ขัดขืนการจับกุม
fraud – the crime of intentionally deceiving someone or cheating in order to gain an advantage or benefit การฉ้อโกง การหลอกลวง เล่ห์เพทุบาย
request – an act of asking for something in a formal or polite way การขอร้อง
detention – forced officially to stay in a place การกักตัว
Criminal Court – a court which hears criminal cases, i.e., cases where people are accused of breaking a law and where punishment involves going to jail. ศาลอาญา
arrest warrant – a document signed by a judge allowing police to arrest someone หมายจับ
issue – to officially give out  ออก
specifically – in a detailed and exact way เฉพาะ, เฉพาะเจาะจง
mention – the act of referring to someone or something in speech or writing การกล่าวถึง, การเอ่ยถึง, การพูดถึง
bail – money that is given to a court when someone is allowed to stay out of prison until their trial. If they do not return for the trial, the court keeps the money  เงินประกัน; การประกันตัว
process – a series of actions that you take in order to achieve a result แนวทางปฏิบัติ, กระบวน, วิธีการ
ruling – a decision by a court of law คำตัดสิน คำชี้ขาด
extradition – sending someone accused of a crime back to the country where the crime was committed for trial or punishment  การส่งผู้ร้ายข้ามแดน
prosecutor – a lawyer whose job is to prove in court that someone accused of a crime is guilty อัยการ
charge – an official statement accusing someone of committing a crime ข้อกล่าวหา
transaction – a business dealing  การติดต่อทางธุรกิจ
amass – to collect a lot of something over a period of time รวบรวม
illicit – against the law ผิดกฎหมาย
security – protection; systems providing for safety from attack, harm, or damage ระบบรักษาความปลอดภัย
expert – someone who has a particular skill or who knows a lot about a particular subject ผู้เชี่ยวชาญ
journalist – a person who writes news stories or articles for a newspaper or magazine or broadcasts them on radio or television ผู้สื่อข่าว
alias – used when a person, especially a criminal or an actor, is known by two names; used before a different name that someone uses instead of their real name  ฉายา, สมญานาม
brag – to talk too proudly about something you own or something you have done พูดอวดดี, ฝอย
exploit – a brave, exciting or interesting act การกระทำที่กล้าหาญ
renown – fame and respect because of something you have done that people admire ชื่อเสียง
individual – a person considered separately rather than as part of a group บุคคล
proud – feeling pleased and satisfied about something that you own or have done, or are connected with ภูมิใจ
ego – your idea or opinion of yourself, or a great feeling of your own importance and ability ความถือตัวเองว่าสำคัญ, การถือว่าตัวเองเหนือกว่าคนอื่น
welcome – to be pleased to receive or accept something รับด้วยความยินดี
misdeed – a bad or evil act การประพฤติผิด, การกระทำผิดทางศีลธรรม, การกระทำผิดกฎหมาย

Our original story published on January 8


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Happy hacker

When alleged cyber-criminal Hamza Bendelladj was arrested at Suvarnabhumi Airport yesterday after a tip-off from the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), all he could do was smile.

He remained smiling throughout a press conference in which Thai police explained that Thailand will seek to extradite Mr Bendelladj to the US state of Georgia, where a court has issued a warrant for his arrest.

We were tipped off to his arrival by the FBI, who have been following his case for the past three years," Immigration Bureau chief Pharnu Kerdlarpphon said.

Mr Bendelladj, 24, who graduated in computer sciences in Algeria in 2008, has allegedly hacked private accounts in 217 banks and financial companies worldwide, amassing "huge amounts" in illicit earnings, Pol Lt Gen Pharnu told the press conference.

"With just one transaction he could earn 10 to 20 million dollars," Lt Gen Phanu said. "He's been travelling the world flying first class and living a life of luxury."

A satellite phone and notebook computer were his main tools, the commissioner said.

Still smiling, Mr Bandelladj is led away by immigration police. SOMCHAI POOMLARD


Mr Bendelladj laughingly denied claims by the Thai authorities that he was on the FBI's top-10 most wanted list.

"I'm not in the top 10, maybe just 20th or 50th," the Algerian suspect said. "I am not a terrorist."

Adapted from a story in today's Bangkok Post.

tip-off – secret information or a warning given by someone  ข่าวเตือนจากวงใน
US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) – one of the national police forces in the US controlled by the central government สำนักงานสืบสวนของสหรัฐอเมริกา
press conference – an official meeting where someone makes a formal statement about a particular issue or event to journalists and answers their questions about it การแถลงข่าว
seek – to try to obtain or achieve something พยายามได้มา
extradite – to officially send back someone who has been accused or found guilty of a crime to the country where the crime was committed for a trial ส่งตัวกลับ
issue – to officially announce or give out  ออก, ออกประกาศ, ออกคำสั่ง
arrest warrant – a document signed by a judge allowing police to arrest someone หมายจับ
Immigration Bureau – the government agency dealing with people entering and leaving the country and those who want to live there สำนักงานตรวจคนเข้าเมือง
graduate – to get a degree from a university or college; to complete a course in education, especially at high school  ได้รับปริญญา,สำเร็จการศึกษา
hack – to secretly find a way of looking at and/or changing information on somebody else's computer system without permission เจาะเข้าโปรแกรมคอมพิวเตอร์อย่างผิดกฎหมาย
amass – to collect a lot of something over a period of time รวบรวม
illicit – against the law ผิดกฎหมาย
transaction – the action or process of buying or selling something; a business dealing  การค้า, การติดต่อทางธุรกิจ
luxury – the best and most expensive of something ที่หรูหรา
commissioner – the head of a particular police force in some countries หัวหน้ากรม
deny – to say that something is not true ปฏิเสธ
claim – saying that something is true although it has not been proved and other people may not believe it ข้ออ้าง ข้อกล่าวหา
authorities – the police or people in official organisations who have the legal power to make people obey laws or rules เจ้าหน้าที่ (ตำรวจ หรือผู้มีอำนาจ)
suspect – a person who is thought to have committed a crime ผู้ต้องสงสัย
terrorist – someone who uses violence and fear in order to achieve something ผู้ก่อการร้าย โจรผู้ร้าย

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