After making his fortune by intercepting the personal data of millions of Americans, Ngo Minh Hieu was imprisoned. Since his release, he has worked for the Vietnamese government. His mission: to hunt down the pirates.

A hacker – Credit: Pexels

Computer hackers sometimes have such expertise that they are recruited by companies or governments, anxious to strengthen themselves against threats. In Vietnam, a repentant hacker was requisitioned by the State for this purpose. Named Ngo Minh Hieu, he was a notorious pirate, earning large sums of money from his misdeeds.

Between 2007 and 2013, he worked to siphon off the personal data of 200 million Americans. This includes in particular their social security number or their bank identifiers. He invariably resells the data in stride, which allows him to lead the high life and protect his loved ones. However, he fears being overtaken by the patrol. A sword of Damocles which ends up falling on him.

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A pirate in the service of the Vietnamese government

Trapped by the FBI, he travels to the island of Guam for a supposed meeting with another hacker. This is where he stopped. He was then sentenced to 45 years in prison. Collaborating with the government to track pirates, he assures that 20 people will be arrested thanks to him. From 45 years old, his sentence increased to 13 years in 2015. He was released prematurely in 2019 thanks to his good behavior.

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Returning to Vietnam a year later, he joined the ranks of the national cybercrime agency. Ngo Minh Hieu hunts hackers there and thwarts malicious attacks. With the media, however, he completely avoids state control over the Internet and the freedom of Internet users. “I don’t do anything politically related,” justifies the one that could soon appear on our screens. Indeed, the fascinating journey of this former cybercriminal has attracted a studio that wants to produce a biopic about him.

Source: The Times of India

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