First man ever charged with hacking VoIP providers

The foremost individual ever charged with hacking into the networks of Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) providers and reselling hacked VoIP services for a profit pleaded guilty.

Edwin Pena, 27, a Venezuelan citizen, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to obligate computer hacking and wire fraud, and one count of wire fraud.

Pena was returned to the United States from Mexico following a three-year manhunt which direct authorities to South America. Pena was ultimately arrested in Mexico on Feb. 6, 2009.

In Feb 2009, Pena was indicted for conspiracy to secretly hack into the computer networks of unsuspecting VoIP phone service providers; conspiracy to commit wire fraud by transmitting telephone calls over the victims’ networks; and individual hacking and wire fraud counts.

At his plea hearing, Pena, who purported to be a legitimate wholesaler of these Internet-based phone services, confessed that he sold discounted service plans to his unsuspecting customers. Pena confessed that he was able to offer such low prices because he would secretly hack into the computer networks of unsuspecting VoIP providers, including one Newark-based company, to route his customers’ calls.

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