Dark Web Infraud Gang Busted!!
It is very satisfying to write this article as today I happily read that Thirty-six people have been charged for their alleged involvement in the running of a cyber-crime service that was solely responsible for more than $530m (£381m) of losses!
This is exactly why I created this site to warn people of criminals like these and for me they are some of the lowest type of criminals hiding behind a computer screen while being deceitful and robbing people of their money and way of life in some cases. These people have no morals or remorse on how their victims have to cope in the aftermath so I am ecstatic when I read these articles in the news!
This particular fraudulent criminal organisation is believed to have dealt in stolen credit cards and passwords while also engaging in bank fraud and ID theft.
Multi National Suspects Apprehended!
As of March 2017,this dark web based service’s included a discussion forum and is said to have a members list of 10,901 registered members! The US Department of Justice has announced that it has 13 of these faceless suspects in custody and it includes UK-based Anthony Nnamdi Okeakpu, who they believed joined around December 2010, he used the nickname “moneymafia.”
The defendants were not just based in the USA or UK but also included nationals from around the globe including Svyatoslav Bondarenko, a Ukrainian accused of having created Infraud in October 2010. Other defendants came from France, Canada, Pakistan, Russia Egypt, Italy and Macedonia among other countries including 5 suspects from the USA. Law enforcement Officers in America are also attempting to extradite 8 other suspects being held in said countries.
Acting Assistant Attorney General John Cronan is quoted as saying:
” In the indictment, Infraud operated the same as a business to commit cyber-fraud on a global scale,” said acting assistant attorney general John Cronan of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.
“Its members allegedly caused more than $530m in actual losses to consumers, businesses, and financial institutions alike – and it is alleged that the losses they intended to cause amounted to more than $2.2bn.”
The staggering amount of money incurred in losses that this gang is responsible for is outrageous and unacceptable and I just wonder what effects it did have on members of the public as businesses such as HSBC and Paypal were among those that were affected.
Dark Web Sales
It is reported that the gangs Infraud admin’s aim was to run a premier online destination to supply stolen property for sale in the Dark Web. They even used the following slogan In Fraud We Trust.
Infrauds alleged services they were active in included:
- Selling items such as birth dates, personal addresses,security passwords, social security numbers, credit and debit card details and other identifying information of members of various customers to businesses.
- Advertising other sites that sell similar services stolen property
- Selling malware viruses
- Providing forums and chat rooms to discuss criminal matters.
During a forum chat from 2011 investigators discovered that one of the accused had advertised that he had 795,000 UK private login details for sale belonging to HSBC bank.
In 2013 it was uncovered that another suspect had advertised that he had 1,300 compromised PayPal account IDs at his disposal for the right price.
There are other specific discoveries which were adverting numbers for Visa, Mastercard and American Express credit cards.
There was one member who actually offered to book flights, rental cars and seats at US concerts and sporting events at a fraction of their actual price using fraudulent details !
It is also evident according to investigators that members used to give feedback ratings to each other for aiding the quality of the various contraband sold via infraud.
The Criminals are believed to have used crypto currencies such as Bitcoin and the defunct service Liberty Reserve to launder their money, this is why restrictions are being put in place by an ever growing number of countries against digital currencies as it is rife with criminals using it to launder money as well as trying to hack accounts.
You Can’t Hide from the Law
Every effort was taken by the criminal gang to hide their identity so they could try and avoid detection and evade arrest. The members always avoided using and sharing their real identities with each other and on the forums so they used code names such as “Mae Tony”, “Poony” and “Hulk”.
Derek Benner, of Homeland Security Investigations. is quoted as triumphantly stating the following:
“The criminals involved in such schemes may think they can escape detection by hiding behind their computer screens here and overseas,” said
“But as this case shows, cyber-space is not a refuge from justice.”
Quite rightly so and I applaud the security services involved in this operation. I hope they throw the book at these criminals for the pain and anxiety they have caused their victims.
It you have experienced cyber theft please get in touch below and share your experience, it may be tied in with this gang and if so then I will do all I can to help you get in contact.
Best wished to you all