Lin Mun Poo owns up to hacking of Federal Reserve computers

Filed Under: Data loss, Law & order, Malware

ToiletDo you think hacking financial institutions and selling stolen information onto others is a viable career? You could be flushing your life down the toilet...

A Malaysian man who was arrested last year by an undercover Secret Service agent, has admitted hacking into a series of financial institutions, and pleaded guilty to possessing stolen credit and debit card numbers with the intention to defraud.

Officers arrested 32-year-old Lin Mun Poo in a diner, shortly after he flew into New York from Malaysia, and claimed to recover over 400,000 credit card numbers and bank account details from his "heavily encrypted laptop computer".

Court documents

Lin Mun Poo found a security vulnerability on Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland's network in June 2010, and claims to have added malicious code to a Federal Reserve computer. However, it is believed that he stole the treasure trove of credit card numbers and other account information from other financial institutions.

No Federal Reserve data or information was accessed or compromised, according to a spokeswoman for the bank.

It seems that Lin Mun Poo didn't limit himself to merely breaking into financial systems, as court documents have alleged that he also hacked into the network of a major Department of Defense contractor.

Lin Mun Poo is being held in a Brooklyn jail, and faces up to 10 years in jail when he is sentenced on 13th September.

If you're considering a career of cybercrime, and think that hacking and identity theft could be your route to riches, just take a minute or two to reflect on how you could be making the worst decision of your life.

How would you feel, waiting to find out how many years of your life you'll be wasting locked up in jail?

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15 Responses to Lin Mun Poo owns up to hacking of Federal Reserve computers

  1. Rob Bruce · 1598 days ago

    It really isn't very big or clever to make fun of people's names just because they come from a different culture than yours.

    • Bartosz Leper · 1597 days ago

      Anybody knows what does "cluley" mean in Chinese? ;-)

      • I don't think they have made fun of his name JUST because he comes from a different culture then theirs - if he'd been American I imagine that they'd have made exactly the same joke.

    • Unpleased · 1597 days ago

      Agree - it is a cheap joke of the calibre or the Sun. Anything for a catchy headline, eh?

  2. Sarah · 1597 days ago

    I do consider the visual you chose to illustrate this article as very offensive to non-Western people. This is really really childish and makes me reconsider the interest I had for this blog.

  3. Richard Wall · 1597 days ago

    Lighten up, its funny :p

  4. Dave Plopp · 1597 days ago

    I dont get the joke....

  5. bill d. · 1597 days ago

    "How would you feel, waiting to find out how many years of your life you'll be wasting locked up in jail?"
    I would feel like Poo....... sorry guys I just had to.. lmao

  6. mom2twoboys · 1597 days ago

    His family name is Lin. Poo is like our middle name, or the second half of his given name. *eyeroll*

  7. T.Anne · 1597 days ago

    1st - let's be honest, I'm sure he's not the first to do the play on words with the name... I don't think it has anything to do with what culture he's from... plus, he's making a point of throwing one's life away by doing criminal activity - if you're caught more on the name pun then you're missing the point. Yes, a different analogy could've been used - but was the one used really in such bad taste? I admit, instead of making fun of actions (which he has a choice over doing), it's making fun of a name (which he most likely had no choice in - unless he had it legally changed somewhere along the line)... but still.

    2nd - sadly, until cyber criminals start to get caught an punished more... I highly doubt things will change. It's viewed as a risky job - but with a fairly low chance of getting caught and a lower chance of getting any type of punishment for your actions. Do I agree with the actions, no - but I get why plenty of people are willing to do it and aren't scared off by thinking of the consequences too much just yet.

    • CBRP1R8 · 1597 days ago

      The Federal Reserve Bank is about as "Federal" as FedeX, they are all privately owned banks and corrupt powerful banksters, they control the government and every aspect of your lives. If Lin had been decent American, he should have fed a worm in their that deleted the entire systems funds and brought down the systems and any backup systems. That would have been the right thing to do, what any true red-blooded American should have done!

  8. Withheld, duh. · 1597 days ago

    Graham, you seem to have really stepped in it this time.

  9. Barney Foonman · 1563 days ago

    I'm confused. "Poo" is in the middle of his first and last name? I should think that in any situation, this would be unacceptable. However, at the end of the day, anyone who hacks a Federal Reserve network is bound to find Poo somewhere...

  10. Jonathan · 1510 days ago

    Very ignorant choice of picture. It reflects a lack of social skills from the author.

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About the author

Graham Cluley runs his own award-winning computer security blog at, and is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and gives computer security presentations. Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley