Nubank’s hacker arrest has been upheld by the courts

Using fintech’s own accounts, the suspect would have raised R$ 13 million.

The arrest of a hacker who attacked Fintech Nubank, held on 16 December 2020, was upheld by the courts. Operation Ostentação, which was set off by the civilian police of several states, served warrants in Maranhão, Goiás and Tocantins.

The police action has been taking place since February 2020, when several people were arrested in cities of Maranhão. In December of the same year, however, the second phase of the operation sought suspects of causing damage to Nubank.

The scams against customers of the institution ended up taking about R$ 13 million, and Nubank notified the police authorities. In fact, hackers used common techniques today to perpetuate fraud against fintech account holders.

The case recalls that the cryptomaniac community, too, must be on the lookout for similar actions.

Superior Court of Justice (STJ) holds Nubank hacker prison
One of the suspects arrested by Operation Ostentação in Maranhão has filed a writ of habeas corpus. Since his arrest in December 2020, he would not have had a custody hearing.

As a result, he was asked to relax his detention and take alternative precautionary measures to imprisonment. In the first instance, the state court in Maranhão denied the request of Nubank’s hacker, maintaining the arrest.

„Moreover, the decision attacked, in principle, has sufficient grounds, highlighting the modus operandi of the crimes, exclusively virtual, which imported in the conduct of fraudulent operations to generate a loss of almost R$ 13 million reais to account holders of NU BANK, its frequency and customary (with about 918 victims), in the period from October 2019 to May 2020; the reasonableness of the length of the investigations, given the peculiarities of the feat (numerous seized material and people to be heard), as well as the evidence of authorship from the data collected from the seized mobile phones (ID 8938936). „The judge of first instance emphasized

In his appeal against the higher court decision, the suspected hacker Nubank had his case examined by the STJ. According to the decision, Minister Humberto Martins did not find illegality in the view of the judge at first instance.

Thus, the STJ would have no jurisdiction to rule on the habeas corpus claim of Nubank’s hacker and the arrest should be maintained. The case law of the STJ and Precedent No. 691 of the STF were cited to support the Minister’s decision.

Increasingly common phishing scams in Brazil cause millions in damage
The man who kept the prison is only one of 30 arrested by the civilian police in Operation Ostentação in the last month. According to the investigations, the gang would specialize in virtual scams against accountants, using phishing scams to do so.

These scams consist of creating false web pages, accessed through links, leading people to believe they are in the right environment. By filling in data, victims end up handing over precious information to hackers, who run to steal resources in their possessions.

In Nubank’s case, 918 customers lost almost R$ 13 million with this gang. However, cryptomaniac investors in Brazil also often face this reality, especially with Bitcoin’s recent rise.

In any case, the tip is always to avoid clicking on suspicious links and observe if the page accessed contains valid security certificates. Some of the hackers that use the technique also usually send spam emails or even act through social networks such as Facebook and Instagram.

In the last few days, for example, an entrepreneur has had her Instagram account hacked and is required to pay Bitcoin as a ransom. Phishing scams have become even more common in the midst of the new coronavirus pandemic.