‘Zotob’ hacker ‘Diabl0’ arrested in Bangkok after three-year hunt
Farid Essebar, aka Diabl0, has finally been arrested by Bangkok police after three years on the run, on suspicion of causing $4bn worth of damage to Swiss banking systems.
The 27-year-old Moroccan, who has a Russian passport, was nabbed by police from the the Department of Special Investigation (DSI), as well as officials from the Immigration Bureau, and the Office of the Attorney-General, according to the Bangkok Post.
“We arrested the suspect at a condominium on Rama IV Road. Next Thailand will send him to Switzerland within 90 days in accordance with the extradition agreement,” police colonel Songsak Raksaksakul told the local paper.
Swiss authorities are said to have alerted the Thai police through their embassy in Bangkok that the hacker and three associates had come to the south-east Asian country.
Quite why it took so long to track him down is a mystery, although the report claims law enforcers wanted to make sure they got a positive identification before swooping in for an arrest.
Over the past three years Essebar and the three other men apparently spent their time moving between various Thai tourist destinations and also made jaunts to other nearby countries including Hong Kong.
It’s unclear exactly how long the Moroccan is facing in a Swiss jail, but if the prosecution is successful it won’t be the first time he’s gone behind bars.
Essebar was arrested back in August 2005 and jailed by a Moroccan court a year later for spreading the infamous Zotob worm which infected systems across the globe including those of CNN, ABC, the Financial Times and the New York Times.
It even managed to crash the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) US-VISIT border screening system, much to the embarrassment of the George W. Bush administration. ®