Agus Dwi Cahyo, a 24-year-old man from Yogyakarta, Indonesia, has been arrested and accused for attacking more than 1,000 websites.
The hacker attacked mostly governments' websites belonging to judicial institutions, regional department offices, state agencies, as well as universities, said National Police spokesman Inspector General Argo Yuwono.
His targets were from all over the world, including those from Australia, Portugal, the UK and the U.S., Argo said.
And in the case involving the one U.S. company, the suspect threatened to delete its data if it failed to pay the ransom within three days.
Investigation revealed that the suspect has even hacked the Supreme Court website, Argo added.
"A team was assembled, which then analyzed the incident through the hacked accounts. After evaluations, the team arrested the suspect with the initial ADC in Selman, Yogyakarta on July 2," Argo said.
Agus as a hacker, targeted his victims by first sending them phishing emails that contain a kind of ransomware. When his targets fell for the trick, the ransomware would install itself on the system, to then block users from accessing the website and its data.
He can then extort money from them, ranging from Rp 2 million and Rp 5 million ($346).
“Since 1,309 websites have been hacked, he must have collected billions of rupiah," the officer said.
Agus was arrested in his home, following three police report. The case is being handled by the National Police cyber crime unit.
The authorities charge Agus under the Electronic Information and Transaction Law (ITE) that carries a maximum sentence of 12 years in jail and a fine of up to Rp 1 billion.
Agus admitted that he is guilty, and said that he became a hacker since 2014. He said that it all began as pranks, but later, he started focusing on becoming a hacker after managing to self-taught his skills.
According to the authorities, Agus' targets were websites that had poor security and were not complex. According to forensic Ruby Zukri Alamsyah, a lot of websites owned by the governments are relatively easy to hack.