This blog was originally created not only to raise awareness of cybersecurity issues, but also to highlight the great work that law enforcement is doing to fight cybercrime. Two weeks ago I highlighted an investigation success with the arrest of almost 100 suspected cybercriminals in Romania. This week I want to highlight the role of prosecutors in achieving a strong sentence in a recent cybercrime case.
This past week, a U.S. District Court in California sentenced Tien Troung Nguyen, a convicted hacker, to a 12-year prison sentence for phishing attacks he launched on more than 38,000 Internet users. Nguyen was originally convicted of emailing links for spoofed bank websites to victims. Nguyen would use the fake bank sites to steal personal account log-in and password information from his victims. Nguyen sold stolen personal account information to other cybercriminals who could use the information to access bank accounts or open credit card accounts using the victim identities.
This case is important for at least two reasons. First, it shows the result of prosecutors handling a cybercrime case effectively. Second, this case is also important because it sends a strong message that cybercrime is serious and will be punished with a sentence that reflects this seriousness.
I often focus on police and investigators in this blog, but this case highlights the important role of prosecutors and the courts. Hopefully this result can serve as a model for similar cases that will continue to send a strong message that cybercrime is a serious offense.