Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Attacks/Breaches

2/7/2018
04:45 PM
Connect Directly
Twitter
LinkedIn
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

US, International Law Enforcement Shut Down Massive Cybercrime Marketplace

The Infraud Organization was responsible for over $500 million in losses to institutions and individuals worldwide, the US Department of Justice says.

US law enforcement authorities in collaboration with their counterparts in over a dozen nations have taken down a major cybercrime organization that was responsible for some $530 million in losses over the past seven years.

Thirty-six individuals from 17 countries have been charged in connection with their alleged roles in the so-called Infraud Organization, including five from the US. Thirteen of the 36 individuals have been arrested so far. Eight of them are awaiting extradition to the United States. More arrests are expected to follow.

In a media call announcing the arrests Wednesday morning, Deputy Assistant Attorney General David Rybicki described the Infraud Organization as a global forum for buying and selling stolen payment card data, financial information, Social Security numbers, personal identity data, malware, and other products.

"Infraud was truly the premier one-stop shop for cybercriminals worldwide," Rybicki said. "Over the course of the Infraud Organization's seven-year history, its members targeted more than 4.3 million credit cards, debit cards, and bank accounts held by individuals around the world and in all 50 states."

The 50-page indictment unsealed today does not allege that Infraud members committed any actual data breaches. But those operating on the forum offered tools and services that certainly would have facilitated those activities, Rybicki said.

According to the indictment, Svyatoslav Bondarenko, 34, of Ukraine, founded Infraud in 2010. Over the years, it became the premier destination on the Internet for crooks looking to transact business with stolen credit card, financial, banking, and identity information. In addition to providing a platform that cybercriminals could safely use to sell stolen data, Infraud also provided an escrow service that members could use to transact business using digital currencies.

As of last March, Infraud had over 10,900 members, making it one of the largest such operations on the Internet prior to its takedown this week. The group's members included individuals from the US, Ukraine, Russia, Australia, United Kingdom, Pakistan, Kosovo, and Bangladesh. The five individuals who have been arrested in the US are from New York, San Diego, Los Angeles, and Alabama.

As has become common with other cybercrime operations these days, Infraud had a formal hierarchy in place with defined roles for members, according to the indictment papers. "Administrators" were responsible for strategic planning operations as well as for managing day-to-day operations. They were also responsible for approving and monitoring membership, and for meting out rewards and punishments to members. Individuals with subject-matter expertise in different areas were assigned "Super Moderator" roles, while "Moderators" were responsible for one or two subforums within their specific areas of expertise, the DOJ indictment noted. The forum also had "vendors" who sold stolen goods, and malware and "members" and "VIP members" worked to facilitate various criminal activities.

"Today's indictment and arrests mark one of the largest cyber fraud enterprise prosecutions ever undertaken by the Department of Justice,” said John Cronin, acting assistant attorney general of the DOJ's criminal division.

"Infraud operated like a business to facilitate cyber fraud on a global scale," Cronin said, noting that the losses the group attempted to cause totaled more than $2.2 billion.

The charges in the case are the result of a joint investigation spearheaded by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations unit and the Henderson Police Department in Nevada.

The case itself is being prosecuted by the prosecutor's office in Nevada because of its familiarity with the details and the fact than 9,000 of Infraud's victims are from the state, said US Attorney Dayle Elieson of the District of Nevada during the media call.

The indictment charges the 36 individuals with racketeering, fraud, and seven other charges. They face a maximum of 20 years in federal prison on the racketeering charges and 10 years for each of the additional counts, Elieson said.

The Infraud takedown continues a string of major law-enforcement successes against cybercrime in recent years. Last year, the FBI and other US law enforcement agencies led an international operation that resulted in the takedown of the AlphaBay and Hansa criminal marketplaces. In December, the FBI, Europol, and others took down Avalanche, a massive malware operation involving 460 attack botnets.

Related content:

  

Jai Vijayan is a seasoned technology reporter with over 20 years of experience in IT trade journalism. He was most recently a Senior Editor at Computerworld, where he covered information security and data privacy issues for the publication. Over the course of his 20-year ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
How Attackers Infiltrate the Supply Chain & What to Do About It
Shay Nahari, Head of Red-Team Services at CyberArk,  7/16/2019
US Mayors Commit to Just Saying No to Ransomware
Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer,  7/16/2019
The Problem with Proprietary Testing: NSS Labs vs. CrowdStrike
Brian Monkman, Executive Director at NetSecOPEN,  7/19/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
Building and Managing an IT Security Operations Program
As cyber threats grow, many organizations are building security operations centers (SOCs) to improve their defenses. In this Tech Digest you will learn tips on how to get the most out of a SOC in your organization - and what to do if you can't afford to build one.
Flash Poll
The State of IT Operations and Cybersecurity Operations
The State of IT Operations and Cybersecurity Operations
Your enterprise's cyber risk may depend upon the relationship between the IT team and the security team. Heres some insight on what's working and what isn't in the data center.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-12551
PUBLISHED: 2019-07-22
In SweetScape 010 Editor 9.0.1, improper validation of arguments in the internal implementation of the Memcpy function (provided by the scripting engine) allows an attacker to overwrite arbitrary memory, which could lead to code execution.
CVE-2019-12552
PUBLISHED: 2019-07-22
In SweetScape 010 Editor 9.0.1, an integer overflow during the initialization of variables could allow an attacker to cause a denial of service.
CVE-2019-3414
PUBLISHED: 2019-07-22
All versions up to V1.19.20.02 of ZTE OTCP product are impacted by XSS vulnerability. Due to XSS, when an attacker invokes the security management to obtain the resources of the specified operation code owned by a user, the malicious script code could be transmitted in the parameter. If the front en...
CVE-2019-10102
PUBLISHED: 2019-07-22
tcpdump.org tcpdump 4.9.2 is affected by: CWE-126: Buffer Over-read. The impact is: May expose Saved Frame Pointer, Return Address etc. on stack. The component is: line 234: "ND_PRINT((ndo, "%s", buf));", in function named "print_prefix", in "print-hncp.c". Th...
CVE-2019-10102
PUBLISHED: 2019-07-22
aubio 0.4.8 and earlier is affected by: null pointer. The impact is: crash. The component is: filterbank. The attack vector is: pass invalid arguments to new_aubio_filterbank. The fixed version is: after commit eda95c9c22b4f0b466ae94c4708765eaae6e709e.