Hackers Hijack Trucking Companies For Fun and Profit

A couple of dudes with more smarts than brains were busted for stealing the identities of legitimate trucking firms, setting up actual jobs and pocketing the cash, says Wired's Threat Level blog. But though the hackers operated for years out of the comfort of their home, the master plan was doomed to backfire.

The first part of the plan was simple—Nicholas Lakes and Viachelav Berkovich, two Russian immigrants, hacked the low-security government-run Safersys.org, which lists approved safe trucking firms. They'd go in and replace the phone number and address of a legitimate company. Posing as that company, they would take an order to deliver a load, then subcontract the job to some other trucker.

Once the subcontractor delivered the goods, the client would pay Lakes and Berkovich directly, and they'd disappear with the cash. The poor subcontractor, the hardest-hit of the victims, would go to the legit company in search of payment. The legit company of course knew nothing about the deal.

Even though the two men ran this fraud for three years, and raked in $US500,000, they should have known they'd be caught eventually. The plan was flawed in that it left too many people scratching their heads every single time. Someone sooner or later was bound to trace the phone calls and track the paper trail back to the source. [Threat Level]

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