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.

Threat Intelligence

6/6/2019
06:00 PM
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Feds Make New Arrest in Darkode Case

Another American was arrested and charged alongside three international suspects who remain at large, according to newly unsealed indictment.

Almost four years since an FBI sting infiltrated and dismantled the infamous Darkode cybercrime forum, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) has revealed a new arrest and more charges against four conspirators, including those against three international suspects that remain fugitives.

The suspects are being charged with racketeering conspiracy for allegedly developing and distributing malware through the Darkode forum, a black market bazaar for peddling malware, stolen identities, botnets, and vulnerability information, that was the centerpiece of the Dark Web in its heyday.

When the FBI shut down the invitation-only forum in 2015, Darkode had been extant for the better part of eight years, with anywhere between 250 to 300 active members participating.  

"Darkode was a criminal organization centered around an online, password-protected criminal forum where high-level international hackers and other cybercriminals convened," the DOJ said in a statement this week on the latest arrest. 

The federal officials reported this week that they brought new charges against an American, a Slovinian, a Serbian, and a Spaniard in an indictment on December 4, 2018. A few days later they arrested the American, Thomas McCormick, aka fubar, on December 4, 2018 at the FBI’s Washington Field Office in Washington, D.C. Meanwhile, the following three suspects remain at large: 

·     Matjaz Skorjanc, aka iserdo or serdo, of Maribor Slovenia, who was widely known as the ringleader of Darkode;

·     Florencio Carro Ruiz, aka NeTK or Netkairo of Vizcaya, Spain; and 

·     Mentor Leniqi, aka Iceman, of Gurisnica, Slovinia.

US Attorney Jessie K. Liu alleges in the charging documents that the men were responsible for racketeering conspiracy and conspiracy to commit bank, wire, and access device fraud, identity theft, hacking, and extortion. The maximum penalty for racketeering conspiracy to commit bank fraud is 20 years in jail, while the maximum conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud is 30 years.

The action announced this week is cleanup after a years-long effort to address what one U.S. Attorney called "one of the gravest threats to the integrity of data on computers in the United States and around the world."

The forum was the origination point of a number of devastating attacks and attack tools of the time, including the Android-targeting Dendroid malware, which was eventually found to be the partial brainchild of a former intern at security vendor FireEye.

The original takedown of Darkode was the result of Operation Shrouded Horizon, an international cooperation between the FBI and law enforcement from 19 nations that lead to the previous charges, arrests, and searches of 70 members of the forum. 

According to reporting from Forbes earlier this spring, a new iteration of Darkode is now back online though it's no longer an exclusive Dark Web affair. The site is now on the regular Internet, and boasts over 12,000 members exchanging information and selling wares at prices between $200 to $1,000, utilizing Bitcoin to avoid being tracked.

Related Content:

Ericka Chickowski specializes in coverage of information technology and business innovation. She has focused on information security for the better part of a decade and regularly writes about the security industry as a contributor to Dark Reading.  View Full Bio
 

Recommended Reading:

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Oldest First  |  Newest First  |  Threaded View
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 7/2/2020
Ripple20 Threatens Increasingly Connected Medical Devices
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  6/30/2020
DDoS Attacks Jump 542% from Q4 2019 to Q1 2020
Dark Reading Staff 6/30/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
How Cybersecurity Incident Response Programs Work (and Why Some Don't)
This Tech Digest takes a look at the vital role cybersecurity incident response (IR) plays in managing cyber-risk within organizations. Download the Tech Digest today to find out how well-planned IR programs can detect intrusions, contain breaches, and help an organization restore normal operations.
Flash Poll
The Threat from the Internetand What Your Organization Can Do About It
The Threat from the Internetand What Your Organization Can Do About It
This report describes some of the latest attacks and threats emanating from the Internet, as well as advice and tips on how your organization can mitigate those threats before they affect your business. Download it today!
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-9498
PUBLISHED: 2020-07-02
Apache Guacamole 1.1.0 and older may mishandle pointers involved inprocessing data received via RDP static virtual channels. If a userconnects to a malicious or compromised RDP server, a series ofspecially-crafted PDUs could result in memory corruption, possiblyallowing arbitrary code to be executed...
CVE-2020-3282
PUBLISHED: 2020-07-02
A vulnerability in the web-based management interface of Cisco Unified Communications Manager, Cisco Unified Communications Manager Session Management Edition, Cisco Unified Communications Manager IM & Presence Service, and Cisco Unity Connection could allow an unauthenticated, remote attack...
CVE-2020-5909
PUBLISHED: 2020-07-02
In versions 3.0.0-3.5.0, 2.0.0-2.9.0, and 1.0.1, when users run the command displayed in NGINX Controller user interface (UI) to fetch the agent installer, the server TLS certificate is not verified.
CVE-2020-5910
PUBLISHED: 2020-07-02
In versions 3.0.0-3.5.0, 2.0.0-2.9.0, and 1.0.1, the Neural Autonomic Transport System (NATS) messaging services in use by the NGINX Controller do not require any form of authentication, so any successful connection would be authorized.
CVE-2020-5911
PUBLISHED: 2020-07-02
In versions 3.0.0-3.5.0, 2.0.0-2.9.0, and 1.0.1, the NGINX Controller installer starts the download of Kubernetes packages from an HTTP URL On Debian/Ubuntu system.