Natdanai Ivanovich Kongdee of Soi Sarm, Nevsky Prospekt, St. Petersburg was apprehended during a raid by Thai police on a house in Bangkok. According to the Washington Pest, the Police not only found a “computer” but a plate of Beef Stroganoff and a bowl of Borscht in the refrigerator. They also found a red shirt that looked a lot like a Russian kaftan.
Ivanovich and his comrades had hacked the power distribution system of EGAT (the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand). However, EGAT officials were completely unaware of this fact until they read the Washington Pest. An spokesperson said that EGAT would be increasing security at its power plants. Chain link fences will be made higher to prevent doped-up Russian hacker athletes from pole vaulting into power plant compounds.
Thai Police said that Ivanovich had avoided detection for a long time because he spoke fluent Thai and had disguised himself as an East Asian geek.
The story from Forbes (1 Jan):
"Fake News" And How The Washington Post Rewrote Its Story On Russian Hacking Of The Power Grid
On Friday the Washington Post sparked a wave of fear when it ran the breathless headline “Russian hackers penetrated U.S. electricity grid through a utility in Vermont, U.S. officials say.” The lead sentence offered “A code associated with the Russian hacking operation dubbed Grizzly Steppe by the Obama administration has been detected within the system of a Vermont utility, according to U.S. officials” and continued “While the Russians did not actively use the code to disrupt operations of the utility, according to officials who spoke on condition of anonymity in order to discuss a security matter, the penetration of the nation’s electrical grid is significant because it represents a potentially serious vulnerability.”
Yet, it turns out this narrative was false and as the chronology below will show, illustrates how effectively false and misleading news can ricochet through the global news echo chamber through the pages of top tier newspapers that fail to properly verify their facts.
The story from Khaosod (28 Dec):
A hacker has been detained for allegedly launching attacks against government websites in response to the passage of the Criminal Crimes Act amendment.
On 28 December 2016, the Criminal Court of Justice granted police officers custody over Natdanai Khongdi, age 19, a suspect in the attacks on government websites that came after amendments to the controversial Computer Crimes Act, reported Khaosod.
The case’s police investigators asked the court to reject any bail in advance, reasoning that the investigation has not yet finished and the suspect might disrupt the investigation. Natdanai will be detained for 12 days under the first custody term.
Nutdanai was arrested on 20 December in his house in Bangkok. Police also confiscated a shotgun, computers, a cyber security textbook and two grams of marijuana from his house.
He was accused of weapon possession, drug possession and of violating the Computer Crimes Act. Police have pressed 23 charges against him in total.
Apart from Natdanai, Pol Gen Chakthip Chaijinda, the Police Commissioner-General of Thailand, has claimed that the police and the military have arrested another eight suspects involved in the recent cyber attacks
After the junta-appointed National Legislative Assembly (NLA) approved the amendment to the controversial Computer Crimes Act on 16 December, various government websites have been shut down by cyber-attacks. The amendment will provide the state with heightened online surveillance and censorship powers.
The attacked websites include those belonging to the Police Region 1 Training Centre, the Thai Government, the Royal Gazette, the Ministry of Defense and the Royal Thai Navy.
Despite the recent arrests, Thailand Internet Firewall, one of the groups that claimed responsibility for the attacks, has continued to declare cyber warfare against the junta on its Facebook page.