Cybersecurity specialists report that Dubai Police arrested 12 malicious hackers, including two hackers known as Hushpuppi and Woodberry, who were in charge of an operation for more than 1.6 billion dirhams (more than $400 million).
The interrupted criminal operation included money laundering, electronic fraud, hacking, identity theft, bank fraud, among many other criminal variants.
Lt. General Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri, Head of Dubai Police, said the arrest of the suspects (operation dubbed Fox Hunt 2) is another achievement of the police to ensure the safety of this emirate: “Similar to operation ‘Fox Hunt 1’ that brought down an African gang a few months ago, this is another effective action against cybercriminals trying to mess with our security”, he mentioned.
Authorities claimed that six suspects were caught in a series of raids synchronized by six SWAT teams. “The operation was conducted in a highly professional manner in terms of planning and execution, as well as setting a zero hour to wipe out all gang members at the same time.”
Al Marri says an attempt to defraud thousands of people around the world was thwarted to empty their bank accounts. The general also noted the great efforts the authorities put in place to address this investigation: “Our tactical and intelligence teams have done a great job of using artificial intelligence-based technologies, including the Criminal Data Analysis Center, to locate cyber fraudsters.”
Brigadier Jamal Salem Al Jallaf, director of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), says that by detecting signs of anomalous activity, a specialized research team was integrated: “After verifying the available information, the team began tracking the hacks, some even boasting of their wealth on social media, pretending to be a businessman,” the brigadier said.
This team managed to track members of this hacking group and detect their multiple criminal activities, including creating fake social media accounts and hacking via email as initial attack stages.
During the arrest, authorities confiscated more than 150 million dirhams in cash, 13 luxury cars, 21 computer equipment, 47 smartphones, 15 memory cards and five hard drives.
He is a well-known expert in mobile security and malware analysis. He studied Computer Science at NYU and started working as a cyber security analyst in 2003. He is actively working as an anti-malware expert. He also worked for security companies like Kaspersky Lab. His everyday job includes researching about new malware and cyber security incidents. Also he has deep level of knowledge in mobile security and mobile vulnerabilities.