Attacks/Breaches

Cybercrime Milestone: Guilty Verdict In RICO Case

Prosecutors use law designed to take down mobsters to fight online crime.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Mathew
50%
50%
Mathew,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/13/2013 | 5:18:32 AM
Re: more RICO prosecutions?
Great question, and I'm following that up. This case prompts two bigger questions: Is the use of RICO appropriate for taking down people who -- for example in this case -- were smaller players? It was successfully used here, obviously, for Carder.su, which functioned like an eBay for stolen IDs. That means the government has been able to indict everyone to which it successfully sold fake IDs via Carder.su., thanks to its sting operation. Notably, however, the government failed to touch the actual Carder.su admins, who according to some reports are in Russia.

The key part of this RICO case hinges on an undercover Secret Service agent, "Celtic," selling Carder.su users fake IDs. Together with information gathered from the website (and we don't know to what extent the government may have infiltrated the site, beyond Celtic's storefront), the government was able to build its case.

Trying to apply RICO to a site of the Silk Road variety, however, would arguably be more difficult. The ATF's "Fast and Furious" guns sting operation got into hot water because the ATF lost track of the guns it was selling. Likewise, if the government tried to take down all of the users of a "darknet" narcotics-selling site, any undercover agent would need to appear to be trafficking in the real thing. Fake IDs, of course, aren't as much of a liability.

Long answer short: I'm not a lawyer, but according to ones I've spoken with, it looks like for this particular case, the stars lined up. In general, however, successfully applying RICO is -- and should remain -- tough, given the relatively harsh prison time and fines that can result.
Mathew
50%
50%
Mathew,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/13/2013 | 5:07:39 AM
Re: In the US Grand Jury don't convect anyone
Thanks for the catch. Slip of the tongue. We'll get that fixed.
jsimpson208
50%
50%
jsimpson208,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/12/2013 | 3:44:55 PM
In the US Grand Jury don't convect anyone
Grand Juries indite people they don't convect them.  They also don't find someone guilty.  The grand jury indites someone, then there is a trial, then the petite jury determains thier guilt or innocence.
Laurianne
50%
50%
Laurianne,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/12/2013 | 1:34:32 PM
more RICO prosecutions?
Mat, do you think we'll see RICO used to go after more cybercrime?
jries921
50%
50%
jries921,
User Rank: Ninja
12/12/2013 | 1:25:36 PM
In this case, it's probably appropriate
A document forging racket is definitely a racket.  The statute can be abused, and sometimes has been to punish what amounts to seditious extremism or non-profit mischief; but for-profit criminal businesses were what the statute was designed to deter.

 
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
Five Things Every Business Executive Should Know About Cybersecurity
Don't get lost in security's technical minutiae - a clearer picture of what's at stake can help align business imperatives with technology execution.
Flash Poll
Dark Reading Strategic Security Report: The Impact of Enterprise Data Breaches
Dark Reading Strategic Security Report: The Impact of Enterprise Data Breaches
Social engineering, ransomware, and other sophisticated exploits are leading to new IT security compromises every day. Dark Reading's 2016 Strategic Security Survey polled 300 IT and security professionals to get information on breach incidents, the fallout they caused, and how recent events are shaping preparations for inevitable attacks in the coming year. Download this report to get a look at data from the survey and to find out what a breach might mean for your organization.
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2013-7445
Published: 2015-10-15
The Direct Rendering Manager (DRM) subsystem in the Linux kernel through 4.x mishandles requests for Graphics Execution Manager (GEM) objects, which allows context-dependent attackers to cause a denial of service (memory consumption) via an application that processes graphics data, as demonstrated b...

CVE-2015-4948
Published: 2015-10-15
netstat in IBM AIX 5.3, 6.1, and 7.1 and VIOS 2.2.x, when a fibre channel adapter is used, allows local users to gain privileges via unspecified vectors.

CVE-2015-5660
Published: 2015-10-15
Cross-site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerability in eXtplorer before 2.1.8 allows remote attackers to hijack the authentication of arbitrary users for requests that execute PHP code.

CVE-2015-6003
Published: 2015-10-15
Directory traversal vulnerability in QNAP QTS before 4.1.4 build 0910 and 4.2.x before 4.2.0 RC2 build 0910, when AFP is enabled, allows remote attackers to read or write to arbitrary files by leveraging access to an OS X (1) user or (2) guest account.

CVE-2015-6333
Published: 2015-10-15
Cisco Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC) 1.1j allows local users to gain privileges via vectors involving addition of an SSH key, aka Bug ID CSCuw46076.

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Security researchers are finding that there's a growing market for the vulnerabilities they discover and persistent conundrum as to the right way to disclose them. Dark Reading editors will speak to experts -- Veracode CTO and co-founder Chris Wysopal and HackerOne co-founder and CTO Alex Rice -- about bug bounties and the expanding market for zero-day security vulnerabilities.