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Police: Hacker Detained After Charging $100 to Shutter Sites

A 24-year-old computer hacker has been arrested for executing cyberattacks on the websites of Moscow-based banks and other businesses after receiving payment from their competitors, the Interior Ministry said Monday.

The Irkutsk region resident, whose name has not been disclosed, charged $100 to shut down such websites for an entire day and received orders via e-mails and instant messages, the statement said.

The hacker was caught red-handed at his computer in the small town of Sayansk as he prepared a distributed denial of service attack to overload the webserver of an industrial enterprise in order to render it incapable of responding to ordinary users, police said.

Investigators believe that he has caused hundreds of thousands of rubles in damage. A criminal case has been opened into unlawfully accessing computer information.

"The clients' motives were diverse, ranging from demonstrations of hacking skills to the infliction of serious financial damages on competitors," the statement quoted a cybercrime investigator as saying.

The suspect has admitted guilt and is cooperating with police by showing methods of carrying out the attacks and correspondence on Internet forums, the statement said. Investigators are gathering further evidence and attempting to uncover potential accomplices in the scheme.

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