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A Malaysian man hacked his way into the Federal Reserve Bank's computers in Cleveland and also separately had more than 400,000 stolen credit card numbers when Secret Service agents finally caught up with him, federal prosecutors said.
Lin Mun Poo was arrested at John F. Kennedy Airport last month as he traveled to New York for a meeting with other hackers and to allegedly exploit some of the stolen information he had obtained, investigators said.
Officials are still looking into how he allegedly hacked his way into well-guarded computer systems at the Federal Reserve and numerous major financial institutions. Poo allegedly traded and profited on information he stole from some of the institutions.
One business, Fed Comp, a data processor for federal credit unions, among the businesses allegedly compromised. U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch said this case is an example of how "cybercriminals continue to use their sophistication and skill as hackers to attack our financial and national security sectors."
Poo faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted on the identity theft and fraud charges. Poo is a Malaysian citizen and secret service agents said he admitted some of his crimes under questioning. Investigators said the Federal Reserve in Cleveland was "hacked" back in June. And they said Poo planned to spend time in New York hitting ATM machines with some of the stolen cards he had obtained.
Officials said Poo also compromised the computers of a defense contractor whose database had information about "highly sensitive military operations."
His attorney Kannan Sundaram -- a former legal aid lawyer -- could not immediately be reached. A spokesman for the US attorney said Poo's expected arraignment in Brooklyn late Thursday was being postponed.
A spokeswoman for the Cleveland Fed said no money or data was ever stolen in Poo's hacking attempt.