Attacks/Breaches
12/12/2013
10:20 AM
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail

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: Apprentice
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
Cartoon
Current Issue
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2013-2595
Published: 2014-08-31
The device-initialization functionality in the MSM camera driver for the Linux kernel 2.6.x and 3.x, as used in Qualcomm Innovation Center (QuIC) Android contributions for MSM devices and other products, enables MSM_CAM_IOCTL_SET_MEM_MAP_INFO ioctl calls for an unrestricted mmap interface, which all...

CVE-2013-2597
Published: 2014-08-31
Stack-based buffer overflow in the acdb_ioctl function in audio_acdb.c in the acdb audio driver for the Linux kernel 2.6.x and 3.x, as used in Qualcomm Innovation Center (QuIC) Android contributions for MSM devices and other products, allows attackers to gain privileges via an application that lever...

CVE-2013-2598
Published: 2014-08-31
app/aboot/aboot.c in the Little Kernel (LK) bootloader, as distributed with Qualcomm Innovation Center (QuIC) Android contributions for MSM devices and other products, allows attackers to overwrite signature-verification code via crafted boot-image load-destination header values that specify memory ...

CVE-2013-2599
Published: 2014-08-31
A certain Qualcomm Innovation Center (QuIC) patch to the NativeDaemonConnector class in services/java/com/android/server/NativeDaemonConnector.java in Code Aurora Forum (CAF) releases of Android 4.1.x through 4.3.x enables debug logging, which allows attackers to obtain sensitive disk-encryption pas...

CVE-2013-6124
Published: 2014-08-31
The Qualcomm Innovation Center (QuIC) init scripts in Code Aurora Forum (CAF) releases of Android 4.1.x through 4.4.x allow local users to modify file metadata via a symlink attack on a file accessed by a (1) chown or (2) chmod command, as demonstrated by changing the permissions of an arbitrary fil...

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
This episode of Dark Reading Radio looks at infosec security from the big enterprise POV with interviews featuring Ron Plesco, Cyber Investigations, Intelligence & Analytics at KPMG; and Chris Inglis & Chris Bell of Securonix.