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Dutch police arrest youth in connection with breach of KPN servers

The teenager is also suspected of hacking three universities and running a marketplace for stolen credit card data.

By Loek Essers
March 27, 2012 07:29 AM ET

IDG News Service - The Dutch High Tech Crime Team has arrested a 17-year-old suspected of compromising customer account data on hundreds of servers belonging to telecommunications operator KPN.

The teenager was arrested last Tuesday in the Dutch town of Barendrecht, where police seized an encrypted computer, two laptops and other storage media including external hard drives, DVDs and USB sticks, the Dutch Public Prosecution Service announced on Monday.

"He has made a confession," said Wim de Bruin, spokesman for the Public Prosecution Service.

The arrested teenager called himself "xS", "Yoshioka" and "Yui" online, and is suspected of breaching the security of hundreds of KPN servers last January, compromising user data and damaging KPN's infrastructure, said the Prosecution Service.

KPN, the biggest telecom operator in the Netherlands, was forced to overhaul its systems to get rid of installed malicious software after the hack was discovered. The National Cyber Security Center of the Netherlands also assessed the security breach and concluded that national security was not compromised.In the wake of the hack, KPN suspended access to 2 million email accounts and asked users to change their passwords, after account details of KPN customers were leaked on Pastebin in early February.

The suspect arrested last Tuesday is not associated with the leaking of that data, the prosecution said. As it turned out the account details were looted in an earlier data security breach at Web store by another hacker, as IDG publication Webwereld reported. The KPN data that appeared online was filtered from the captured database.

The arrested teenager was followed online for weeks and the Dutch police collaborated closely with the Cyber Terror Response Center in South Korea and the Australian Federal Police, according to the Prosecution Service. A person using the aliases "Yui", "Yoshiaka' and "xS", appeared to have bragged about the KPN hack in a chat channel for students at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), the prosecution said.

Besides hacking KPN the 17-year-old is also suspected of hacking computers at KAIST and at Trondheim University in Norway, and of breaching the security of Tokohu University in Japan. He is also thought to have been running a website used for selling stolen credit card data, according to the prosecution.

According to De Bruin the teenager did not confess to the other allegations. "Those are still being investigated," he said.

The Australian police was involved in the case because the arrested suspect was thought to have ties with a 16-year-old Australian hacking suspect, who was arrested last week.

"The two are connected," De Bruin said, but the nature of that relationship has yet to be discovered, he said. The Australian teen was arrested for Australian cybercrimes and is not a suspect in the KPN hack, said De Bruin: no extradition order is planned.

Reprinted with permission from Story copyright 2014 International Data Group. All rights reserved.
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