Meet the Robin Hood of cyber-crime – a hacker, named Hamza Bendelladj, who hacked his way into stealing around $280 million from more than 200 banks only so that he could donate the illegally obtained money to various Palestinian charities.
Over the course of two years between 2009 and 2011 Bendelladj managed to spread his very own malware tool creation, named SpyEye, through personal sales and forums. This resulted in getting a large number of computer devices being infected with the malware, which had the ability to obtain significant information regarding the user’s login details into his/her devices and bank accounts. The illegally obtained personal information was then used by the hacker to hack his way into over 200 banks and its branches located all across the US. According to official reports, the man, who is in his late 20s, managed to steal nearly $280 million from the bank institutions through the hacked accounts. The reports state that the guy donated nearly all of the money to various Palestinian charities.
Authorities managed to identify and catch him after a two year long chase. Bendelladj’s story was widely covered by the media and it was believed that he could get a sentence of up to 65 years behind bars. Some rumors claimed that he could even be executed, although authorities claimed that there is no death penalty for cyber criminals, regardless of the amount of money the man stole. The hacker and his Robin Hood-like actions became viral quickly after his arrest and many people started labeling him as a hero and not an actual criminal. US authorities have estimated that he owes at least $14 million in fines for his actions and the charges they slammed him with are for wired fraud, bank fraud and computer fraud.