Croatian Police arrests minor over A1 Telecom data breach & ransom demand

The 14-year-old schoolboy was accused of stealing data of 100,000 Tele Operator A1 customers and demanding 150 Ethereum coins ($500,000) in ransom.

In an interesting turn of events, Croatian police have arrested a 14-year-old minor for stealing data from Croatian Tele Operator A1 and demanding ransom in cryptocurrencies.

On 9th February 2022, Tele Operator A1 reported a hack attack to the police stating that private information excluding financial data of its users was compromised. The company claimed that the names, personal identification numbers, addresses, and phone numbers of at least 10% of A1’s network users were compromised in the attack.

The company claims that its financial data was safe as it was stored in a separate database.

Minor Arrested for A1 Croatia Hacking

Reportedly, a minor from western Croatia’s Slavonski Brod County was arrested by the police for stealing data of 100,000 users of Tele Operator A1 and asking for 150 Ethereum coins ($500,000) in ransom.

According to the police, there’s no confirmation that the hacker misused the data as yet. Renato Grguric, the head of the Police Administration’s Cyber Security Service, stated that the teenager didn’t carry out the breach independently, and a foreign individual acted as his accomplice.

Regardless of the fact that he is a minor, at this moment, there is already enough evidence that indicates a reasonable suspicion that he is a perpetrator. Criminal charges will soon be filed with the state ombudsman for youth.

Renato Grguric

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How Was the Hacker Arrested?

On Monday, according to local media, the police searched the minor suspect’s home, mobile phone, and computers and found the equipment used to hack Tele Operator A1. Further probe revealed that the hacker is a juvenile and goes to primary school. The investigators waited for the suspect at home until he returned from school and questioned him in front of his parents before formally arresting him.

Generally, people get a 3 to 5 years sentence for such crimes. However, Grguric stated that in a situation where the accused is a minor, the authorities focus on preventing more crimes and not on punishing the offender.

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