Pleading guilty for two felony counts of computer fraud, Billy Ribeiro Anderson, also known as ’Anderson Albuquerque‘ and ’AlfabetoVirtual,’ now faces up to 10 years in prison, according to US prosecutors.
Defacing more than 11,000 US websites, 41-year-old Anderson was accused of hacking into military, government and various business websites, and posting political messages pertaining to the Anderson situation between Palestine, Israel and the Gaza Strip. While the defacement campaign occurred between 2015 and 2018, two more prominent incidents are mentioned by prosecutors.
The NYC Comptroller and the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point websites were hacked by Anderson using various vulnerabilities, ranging from plugin vulnerabilities to cross-site scripting, in order to post his political messages.
“On July 10, 2015, a website owned by the NYC Comptroller was defaced, and ANDERSON, using the online pseudonym ’AlfabetoVirtual,’ claimed responsibility for the intrusion and defacement. The contents of the NYC Comptroller website were modified to display the text ’Hacked by AlfabetoVirtual,’ ’#FREEPALESTINE‘ and ’#FREEGAZA,’ according to prosecutors. “The defacement was performed by exploiting security vulnerabilities associated with the version of a plugin being used on the website.”
However, this is not the first incident in which prosecutors have brought hackers to justice. The operator of the Scan4You dark web service that enabled cybercriminals to test their samples against popular security solutions was convicted this May.
“Ruslans Bondars, 37, was convicted after a five-day jury trial of one count of conspiracy to violate the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and one count of computer intrusion with intent to cause damage and aiding and abetting. Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 21,” according to the US Department of Justice.
Anderson’s sentencing is scheduled for February 13th, 2019, facing a maximum punishment of 10 years in prison.