Infamous Israeli Hacker Pleads Guilty to Access-Device Fraud

For his role in an illegal operation that resulted in losses of $10 million

By on August 26th, 2009 13:08 GMT
Notorious Israeli hacker Ehud Tenenbaum, a.k.a. "The Analyzer," has pleaded guilty to one count of access-device fraud in New York after he was indicted by the U.S. authorities for credit card fraud last October. He faces a maximum of 15 years in a federal prison and his sentencing is scheduled for November 19.

Ehud Tenenbaum captured the attention of the international media back in 1998 when he was arrested in Israel for hacking into systems belonging to Pentagon, NASA, the U.S. Air Force and Navy, the Israeli Parliament, the Presidency, Hamas, the MIT, as well as other U.S. and Israeli universities.

The Israeli authorities decided to prosecute him locally, which resulted in a suspended prison sentence, a fine and six months of community service for the 19-year-old hacker who called himself "The Analyzer." After working as a security consultant in Israel for a while, Tenenbaum moved to France and went off the grid for almost ten years.

In September 2008, Tenenbaum, along with Priscilla Mastrangelo (his fiancée), Sypros Xenoulis (his business partner) and Jean Francois Ralph, was arrested by the Canadian authorities for hacking into a Calgary-based financial institution and siphoning cash via artificially inflated pre-paid card accounts.

While in the custody of Canada, the hacker was indicted for conspiracy to commit and committing access-device fraud. The U.S. authorities informed their Canadian counter-parts of their intention to pursue extradition because Tenenbaum had been linked to attacks against four U.S. banks and payment processors. The prosecutors estimated the losses at $10 million dollars and said that the hacks were part of a larger international operation.

According to Wired, the Israeli hacker only pleaded guilty to committing access-device fraud, the conspiracy count being dropped. No other details of his plea agreement have been revealed yet, but it is possible that he cooperated with the authorities to identify his accomplices abroad, in which case, a sentence reduction is to be expected.

Darren Hafner, a detective with the Calgary police, commented that "The Analyzer" likely never quit his hacking activities and has "probably been getting away with stuff for 10 years."
Ehud Tenenbaum, a.k.a. "The Analyzer"
   Ehud Tenenbaum, a.k.a. "The Analyzer"
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