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September 20, 2017

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Tip by 'sad wife' helps police crack alleged hacking scheme

The China Post news staff--Police yesterday arrested a 33-year-old man on suspicion of hacking into a New Taipei-based telecommunications company and stealing a substantial amount of personal information.

The suspect, Huang Wei-chung, denied the allegations and claimed that he had bought the information legally.

According to the police, Huang operated an underground online gambling den related to futures trading.

When questioned by the police, Huang said that he was only an employee of the futures brokerage, and denied that he had hacked any computer systems. He claimed that all personal information seized by the police was "purchased" from related firms for promotional use.

The police yesterday handed Huang over to the Banqiao District Prosecutors Office on charges of running illegal gambling operations and violating the Personal Information Protection Act and Futures Trading Act.

The massive amount of personal data seized by the police included information such as people's mobile phone numbers, names, addresses and occupations. Authorities said they will check the data to see how many companies may have had their servers hacked by the alleged criminals.

The criminal investigation unit of New Taipei busted the hacking scheme while cracking down on the underground gambling den after being tipped off by a woman who dubbed herself "sad wife." The woman told the police that her husband had been indulging in underground online futures trading and had lost tens of millions of New Taiwan dollars as a result, and therefore she hoped the police would bust the illegal futures trading station.

When investigating the futures trading house, the police also received reports from a local mobile phone text message company claiming that its computer systems were also hacked, with massive amounts of its clients' personal information copied.

After analyzing the hacker's IP address, the police found that it was associated with an underground futures trading house located on Taiyuan Road in Taipei.

The police also seized computers and account books during the raid on the location.

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