Already notorious as a 19 year old Drexel University student who hacked into a stockbroker's account to unload some worthless stock from his portfolio, and five years after his release from a 13-month jail term as a result, Van T. Dinh, now 27 is convicted once again.
This time, a New York court has sentenced him to three years in prison, a further three years of supervised release, and he must pay $125,000 in restitution. The sentence concludes a two-year trial where Dinh was charged with two counts of computer hacking over accusations he hacked into an online currency exchange service before allegedly attempted to transfer $110,000 to an account under his control.
The transfers were made in two batches days apart in December 2008, after Dinh had allegedly broken into the firm's admin systems. He is accused of using this privileged access in attempting currency trades involving two other third-party customer accounts, and of trying to transfer $140,000 into one of these accounts.
In 2004 Dinh was jailed for 13 months after he was convicted for hacking into an account run by a fellow stock trader to buy a variety of worthless stock derivatives he had got stuck with the year before. Dinh's tactic made him become the first person to be charged with both computer hacking and identity theft offences.
Dinh's exploit involved a Trojan horse program he created that posed as a stock-tracking tool. When his victim used the tool, it gave Dinh access to a trading account. Then he used that access to buy options from his own account. They were Cisco put options that were about to expire, reducing his potential losses of $90,000 by $37,000 in the process.