Last Thursday, a notorious Chinese hacker was arrested in Qingdao, Shangdong province. The hacker, a 24-year-old surnamed Zhang, has been plaguing many Chinese internet companies over the last year. iFeng.com reports that Zhang was arrested in an internet cafe in Qingdao, doing the very thing that made him a criminal: using other people's money to buy in-game equipment.
Zhang, a native of Shangdong Province, dropped out of high school and moved to Guangxi province. While living in Guangxi, Zhang started working in an internet cafe where he spent most of his time playing video games. Zhang wanted to purchase a set of armour in an unnamed Chinese MMO. Unable to afford the set, he started digging online about ways to hack the game. In his search, Zhang learned about hacking and started to steal player accounts, siphoning their money and their equipment into his own.
Zhang learned more about hacking and, after some time, he started to use his skills to extort web companies in Guangxi. He took down a web design company and sent the webmaster a ransom note, demanding $US8,000 for the site to be restored. He then tried the same with two other companies, amassing a total of $US24,000.
Over the course of 2012, Zhang extorted seven different companies for a total of $US32,000. During that time, he moved back to Qingdao. Zhang's MO was to attack a website and then, within 24 hours claim, responsibility for the attack. After he established that he was the attacker, he would ask the company for money for the site to be restored — if the company failed to provide the funds, the sites would remain down.
iFeng reports that local police received a tip that Zhang was the notorious hacker after he had attacked a game company's website. In a joint effort, police tracked Zhang's bank account and linked it to the extortion cases. They apprehended him inside an internet cafe in Qingdao. Police were supposedly shocked to find that the unemployed high school dropout Zhang was the source of all the internet extortion cases.
高中毕业玩游戏"练"成黑客 一年吸金20万 [People's Daily]