Subliminal Hacking
The Art and Science of Social Engineering


September 16, 2010

Robbery at Hypnosis Point

No proper post this week I am afraid. I have been travelling and getting myself ready for BruCON next week.

I did come across a news article that I thought would be worth sharing.

Its taken from the Jakarta Post.


As reports abound of people being lulled, allegedly through a mass-hypnosis technique, to hand valuables or cash to strangers, police arrested suspects after they viewed CCTV footage from a supermarket in Lampung, which caught robbers in the act.

“Thanks to the recording, we managed to identify and arrest [the suspects],” Jakarta Police Crime and Violence Division chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Nico Afinta said Thursday.

“We also confiscated the clothing they wore when committing their offense as seen in the footage,”
Nico said.

The CCTV recording was first broadcast by television on Wed-nesday after it had spread on the Internet.

The footage shows two men in dark-colored shirts and two women wearing head scarfs who, without force, took money from the cash drawer in front of the cashiers and other shopkeepers at a minimarket.

The footage is reportedly from the minimarket’s CCTV in Bandarlampung, recorded on Aug. 11.

The police said the suspects, who are Turkish nationals, were arrested Thursday at about 1 a.m. separately at a restaurant on Jl. Sabang and at the NAM Center Hotel in Central Jakarta.

A Malaysian woman who was found with one of the suspects in the hotel was brought for questioning but was released later due to lack of evidence.

The first suspect, Yaman Alper aka Saeed Heidarrirad, 32, initially told police that he was Iranian while the second suspect, Mehmet Sahin, 19, claimed he was Syrian.

“Arriving in Jakarta from Turkey on Feb. 19, each of them owned two different passports — one  fake,” Nico said.

The police examined the CCTV recording and investigated the case after watching a TV reporter interviewing a car rental owner in the city, who identified the suspects as his customers. He had earlier called the TV station after he recognized them on the recording.

The CCTV recording, which lasts for approximately two minutes, also shows another woman going to the staff room and ordering a female staff member to open a safe deposit box and empty the cash.

The 2008 Information and Electronic Transactions Law stipulates that all kinds of recording can be used as evidence in court.

The use of hypnosis has been widely reported among residents, but few have been arrested since most victims could not recount the ordeal. On April 23 in East Makassar, South Sulawesi, local media reported that police arrested two of  five suspects, posing as a minivan driver and passengers. The group attempted to use hypnosis but the victim became aware of what was happening and immediately called police.

Earlier in January, the Jakarta Police also arrested three suspects, who allegedly hypnotized their victims to withdraw  cash at ATMs after undercover detectives trapped them in the act.

“People should stay vigilant and focused should they meet strangers.

“Hypnosis suspects often commit their act through casual chit-chat with their victims,” Boy said.

“We also found that [the arrested suspects] might have operated in several areas in the country, such as Sumatra, Kalimantan, Greater Jakarta and West Java,” he said.

Boy said police were still tracking down two other female suspects viewed in the recording. (rch)

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    About the Author

    Dale Pearson
    has worked in IT since 1998, Infosec since 2004, and studied and performed hypnosis, mentalism etc since 2009. Dale is a full time Red Teamer with a love of social engineering and qualified hypnotherapist. He spends a great deal of time researching the various skills and techniques that make up the art and science of Social Engineering.


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