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Man faces computer fraud charges for hacking government websites

Aug 28 2018

Man faces computer fraud charges for hacking government websites

A California man was arrested on computer fraud charges after being accused of hacking and defacing tens of thousands of government, military and business websites in the United States and around the world.

According to a criminal complaint, 41-year-old Billy Ribeiro Anderson gained unauthorized access to the websites of the New York City Comptroller’s Office and West Point’s Combating Terrorism Center from 2015 to March 2018. He allegedly used the online pseudonym Alfabeto Virtual and modified the sites to display “Hacked by Alfabeto Virtual,” “#freegaza,” “#freepalestine” or a combination of the three phrases. Hackers are known to use online pseudonyms to claim responsibility for cybercrimes.

Anderson was accused of exploiting the security vulnerabilities of the New York City comptroller’s website in July 2015. In October 2016, he allegedly defaced the website of an academic center of the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York. Alfabeto Virtual claimed responsibility for both the hacks. The comptroller’s office had to pay over $5,000 to fix the website, while West Point paid more than $7,000 to undo the damage.

Hacking charges are sometimes brought against people who do not maliciously intend to cause any lasting harm. Individuals who are accused of hacking should contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to protect their rights. Brill Legal Group has a successful track record of fighting hacking and other cybercrime charges, which can be highly technical.