BANGKOK – Thailand’s Immigration Authorities have arrested International hacker Farid Essebar on Tuesday following a joint operation between Thai and Swiss authorities who have been tracing the man for more than two years.
Farid Essebar, who is from Morocco and a Russian citizen, was detained by officials officials from the Department of Special Investigation (DSI), the Immigration Bureau, and the Office of the Attorney-General.
”We arrested the suspect at a condominium on Rama IV Road. Next Thailand will send him to Switzerland within 90 days in accordance with the extradition agreement,” Pol Col Songsak Raksaksakul, chief of the International Cases and International Crime Division, said.
The 27-year-old Russian citizen is wanted on a computer crime charges arrest warrant in Switzerland. He is accused of cracking banking computer systems and hacking bank websites in the country, causing damage worth more than US$4 billion or 128 billion baht to customers in Europe in 2011, the DSI official said.
Swiss police alerted Thai authorities to their hunt for the hacker through their embassy in Bangkok after receiving information that he and three other gang members had come to Thailand.
They were known to be travelling in and out of Thailand to Hong Kong and neighbouring countries throughout the past three years, he added.
DSI officials and police tracked Essebar for about two years until they were certain that he was the one on the wanted list by Switzerland.
Essebar and his accomplices spent money in several tourist destinations around the country but never gambled or bought any assets in Thailand, Pol Col Songsak said.
Essebar, also known as Diabl0, has a Wikipedia entry on his hacking exploits.
He and another person spread the Zotob computer worm targeting Windows 2000 in 2005. The computer virus disrupted operations at CNN, ABC News, the New York Times, Caterpillar, United Parcel Service, Boeing and the United States Department of Homeland Security.
Essebar was arrested by the FBI and convicted of hacking. He spent one year in prison before being released, Pol Col Songsak said. After that, according to the Swiss warrants, he began cracking accounts in Swiss banks.