A Chinese hacker was sentenced to six years in prison on Thursday for his role in a telecom fraud case linked to the death of a teenager last year.
Du Tianyu was handed the sentence by the People's Court of Luozhuang District, Linyi City in east China's Shandong Province for violating personal information. The court also fined Du 60,000 yuan (9,000 U.S. dollars).
In 2016, Du sold the personal information of students who took the year's college entrance examination, called the "gaokao," to Chen Wenhui, allowing Chen and his accomplices to call the test-takers and swindle them.
One of the victims was Xu Yuyu, a senior high school graduate from Linyi. She died of cardiac arrest in August 2016 after losing 9,900 yuan, which should have been used to pay her university tuition fees, to the fraudsters. Her death sparked instant outrage across the country.
The telecom fraud was causally linked to Xu's death, according to the Intermediate People's Court of Linyi City, which handled Chen's case.
The Luozhuang district court found that in April 2016, Du hacked into an official website that contained the personal information of Shandong's gaokao examinees, illegally obtaining information of more than 640,000 people. He sold the information of more than 100,000 people to Chen for 14,100 yuan through the instant messaging platform QQ and Alipay, the mobile payment service of e-commerce powerhouse Alibaba.
Using the information, Chen's gang made more than 10,000 calls and swindled more than 200,000 yuan.
Chen was given a life sentence for fraud and violation of personal information in July. The sentences for his six accomplices ranged from three to 15 years.