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Life

One of the world's most prolific hackers wants to say sorry

Ex-con returns to Vietnam after swapping black hat for white hat

Vietnam has the highest percentage of computers infected with malware of any country in the world, according to the security website Comparitech. The Vietnamese state is also believed to employ around 10,000 "cybertroops" to block or manipulate content on Facebook and YouTube. (Source photo by Reuters)

HO CHI MINH CITY -- When I first meet Ngo Minh Hieu -- the once-notorious teen hacker who rose from a quiet Vietnamese seaside town to become what U.S. authorities have described as one of the most prolific identity thieves ever to grace a federal prison -- I am reminded of Leonardo DiCaprio in the 2002 film "Catch Me If You Can."

Just like DiCaprio's character Frank Abagnale, Hieu ran scams for years before he was captured and made to help U.S. agents catch more criminals. But more like Rami Malek's character in the popular U.S. television series "Mr. Robot," Hieu spent his childhood in a computer shop owned by his uncle learning the skills he'd later use for better -- and for worse.

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