Hamza Bendellandj is a 30 year old Algerian hacker who successfully hacked US computers and then used data to transfer funds from US Banks to Palestinian charity organizations. This is a brief biography of the man who looted for a cause & is considered a hero by many.
It is said that Hamza Bendellandj was born in 1988 in Algerian city of Tizi Ouzou. Details about his early life are not known but he was a graduate of Computer Science and loved coding. It is said he was proficient in 5 languages which reflects his intelligence.
He was a married man and was living with his wife and a young son in Bachdjerrah, a suburb of Algiers.
Hamza Bendelland is alleged to be the co-author of a Trojan horse which infected millions of computers around the world stealing millions from US banks and financial institutions.
It is said he along with Russian hacker Aleksandr Andreevich Panin created the malware which infected 1.4 million computers. It is said that he looted 200 US banks and transferred money to charitable organizations working for Palestine.
How The Virus Worked?
The virus attacks the browsers of users including Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Opera from where the credentials of bank accounts are stolen.
Then the user names, card numbers and passwords are used to transform amount without the user knowing about it. It was designed so perfectly that even if the user was using his bank account online, even then transaction will be made.
Arrest & Sentence:
Hamza was known in underground hacking forums and websites as BX1. His virus affected the banking industry from 2009 – 2011 but because his identity was not known he remained safe.
He was arrested in 2013 from Thailand and was then extradited to US. How was he arrested remains a mystery but it is said that American undercover officer purchased a copy of the virus from him for $8,500.
From the online purchase the American undercover helped identifying and arresting the most famous hacker of the world.
He was taken in custody from Bangkok’s famous Suvarnabhumi Airport when he was travelling from Malaysia to Algeria. He was photographed smiling during his arrest because of which he is known as happy hacker.
He was sentenced for 15 years along with 3 years of probation. His partner was sentenced for 9 years & 6 months.
After his arrest social media campaign started for his released. A rumour started to appear on social media about his death sentence and hanging. Many people starting sharing pictures of Iranian hanged prisoner thinking it was from Hamza’s execution.
Algerian hero is 1/10 most dangerous hackers.
Hacked 217 banks, sent $280,000,000 to Palestine.
His sentence? death. pic.twitter.com/FCiOncSgMO
— ??? (@patronistan) August 20, 2015
The rumour was so widely shared that even American ambassador to Algeria clarified that ‘computer crimes are not punishable by death penalty’.