US police have captured a Venezuelan hacker after four years of tracking the suspect. Rafael Nunez-Aponte, known as “RaFa”, is suspected of attacks on the US Department of Defence (DoD) in 2001.
A member of the World Of Hell hacker group, which included members known as "Dawgyg" and "Cowhead2000", Nunez-Aponte stands accused of accessing a Defense website and defacing an airforce training web page. He changed it to read "WoH is back", deleted logging pages from Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) computers and sent transmissions to render the computers inoperable.
According to Jeff Dorschner, spokesman for the US attorney, the arrest occurred on April 2 in Miami International Airport, and Nunez-Aponte will now be transferred to Denver where he will be charged with unlawfully gaining access to a government computer system and causing intentional damage.
The arrest forms part of a wider investigation into World Of Hell's activities and could result in Nunez-Aponte serving up to 11 years in prison. His family have since set up a campaign claiming he reformed and now puts his computing skills to more productive use.
The news comes only days after Estonian police collared a man in connection with stealing money from scores of European bank accounts.