The U.S. Justice Department is taking cyber crime very serious as they just announced one of its largest take downs on Wednesday. More than thirty-six people have been accused of trafficking in stolen identities. As a result, consumers have seen more than $530 million in losses.
The cyber-crime network was able to gain access to people’s personal information such as Social Security numbers, birthdays, and passwords. They have stolen information like this from people all around the world. The network was operating as an online discussion forum known as “Infraud”. They ran an impressive scheme that facilitated the purchase and sale of this personal information.
According to the indictment, the group was created in 2010 by a 34-year-old Ukrainian man that goes by the name of Svyatoslav Bondarenko. They worked under the disturbing slogan “In Fraud We Trust”.
He formed a hierarchy with the group and examined proposed advertising on the site for stolen goods. According to the indictment, he didn’t allow members to buy or sell items that were stolen from Russian victims.
Not only did he aid the sale of stolen information, but the network also supplied an escrow amount of people with a platform to launder their profits using digital currencies such as bitcoin, Perfect Money, Liberty Revenue, and WebMoney. This service was run by a founder of the Infraud site that went by the name of Sergey Medvedev. In 2016, Medvedev posted a note online claiming that Bondarenko had gone missing and after this Medvedev took over the site as the “admin and owner”.
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According to the Justice Department officials, of the thirty-six accused, thirteen of them were arrested in the United States, France, Kosovo, Italy, Australia, and Serbia, and the United Kingdom.
The charges that these people are in danger of facing include band fraud, identity theft, money laundering, as well as wire fraud.
The indictment showed many stolen items that were advertised on the cyber-criminal network. These items include dozens of PayPal logins and credentials, 795,000 HSBC bank logins, as well as credit card numbers. People would also use the site to advertise malware for sale.