A Malaysian man charged with hacking the Federal Reserve’s computers and conducting a credit-card scheme pleaded guilty to illegally possessing card account numbers with intent to defraud.
Lin Mun Poo, 32, entered his plea today before U.S. District Judge Dora L. Irizarry in Brooklyn, New York. Poo pleaded not guilty Nov. 22.
The computer network of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland was hacked in June, resulting in thousands of dollars of damage from the effects on 10 or more computers, according to court papers filed Nov. 18, the day Poo was charged in a four-count indictment. No Federal Reserve data or information was accessed or compromised, June Gates, a spokeswoman for the central bank, said in November.
The credit card numbers Poo sold didn’t come from the Federal Reserve, his lawyer, Kannan Sundaram, said in court. Poo admitted he added “malicious code” to a Federal Reserve computer.
Sundaram and Assistant U.S. Attorney Melissa Marrus told Irizarry that federal guidelines would call for a prison sentence of the maximum 10 years under the count Poo pleaded to. Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 13.
Sundaram didn’t immediately return a call for comment after the hearing.
When he was arrested Oct. 21 shortly after arriving in the U.S., Poo possessed more than 400,000 stolen credit and debit card numbers, according to prosecutors in the office of U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch in Brooklyn. He was able to gain access to data of several federal credit unions, according to prosecutors.
Poo has made a career of compromising computer servers of financial institutions, defense contractors and corporations to sell or trade on the information, Lynch said in a Nov. 18 statement.
The case is U.S. v. Lin Mun Poo, 10-cr-891, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York (Brooklyn).