OSAC -Hacking for Dollars
from Newsweek International
The lone computer geek a bit rebellious, but with a heart of gold is being eclipsed by the hardened professional criminal, who uses the Internet for spying, stealing and extortion.
In the high-tech battlefield of cyberspace, the thirtysomething Russian with the jet black goatee and the new denim coat considers himself a freedom fighter a descendant of those legendary computer geeks whose cyberstunts drove the establishment wild and helped define a unique Internet culture. Like his hacker predecessors, he has his own subversive code, this one tinged with the slogans of anti-globalization. He talks of 'freedom,' 'the unhindered flow of ideas' and the need to break the stranglehold of 'monster corporations like Microsoft.' (He won't hack into Russian companies.) 'I live in the shadows. That is where I want to be,' says the hacker we'll call him Dmitry over a late-night meal in a Moscow restaurant. 'I don't need to prove anything to anyone.'
Dig a little deeper and you'll find there's something that differentiates this New Age cybersurfer from his high-minded brethren. Last year Dmitry netted $300,000 stolen from major American corporations. Like a slick businessman, Dmitry arrives for his secret rendezvous with NEWSWEEK accompanied by his lawyer. He works as part of a hacker team, composed of 10 or so experienced criminals, each with his own specialty. His job: to break into networks, opening the way for his confederates to steal and decode company information. He'll work 16-hour days for six months preparing for an assault on a Western corporation that might last just minutes. 'It's like a military attack,' he says. 'At first you do intelligence. You watch their behavior. You get ready for X-Hour. When you're 90 percent sure of success, you attack.'"