Sat, 17 Nov 2018

Huge cybercrime ring launched by Ukrainian shut down by U.S.

By Sheetal Sukhija, Cincinnati News
08 Feb 2018, 12:26 GMT+10

CALIFORNIA, U.S. - A global cybercrime ring, allegedly operated by a Ukrainian, was shut down by the U.S. Justice Department.

On Wednesday, the Justice Department announced one of its largest-ever takedowns of the global cybercrime ring, saying it had indicted 36 people accused of trafficking in stolen identities.

According to the Justice Department, the cybercrime ring had caused over $530 million in losses to consumers.

According to the statement issued by the Justice Department, the cyber crime network, operating as an online discussion forum known as “Infraud,” ran a sophisticated scheme that facilitated the purchase and sale of Social Security numbers, birthdays and passwords that had been stolen from around the world.

The indictment noted that the group worked under the slogan “In Fraud We Trust” and was created in 2010 by a 34-year-old Ukrainian identified as Svyatoslav Bondarenko.

The indictment further alleges that Bondarenko referred to online forum as a “comfortable and safe” place to “bring together professional people for who carding and hacking become a lifestyle.”

According to the indictment, Bondarenko created a hierarchy within the organization, and vetted proposed advertising on the site for stolen wares. 

He is also said to have banned members from buying or selling stolen devices or other items that belonged to Russian victims.

The network is said to have not only facilitated the sale of stolen information, but also provided an escrow account people could use to launder their proceeds using digital currencies including bitcoin, Liberty Reserve, Perfect Money and WebMoney. 

The indictment also said that the service was run by Sergey Medvedev, a cofounder of the Infraud site.

Justice Department officials said that of the 36 people indicted, 13 have been arrested in the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Kosovo and Serbia.

Deputy Assistant Attorney General David Rybicki told reporters on a conference call that they face charges that include identity theft, bank fraud, wire fraud and money laundering.

Rybicki added, “Today marks a significant step in the battle against transnational cyber crime.”

The other defendants remain at large and the investigation is still ongoing.

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