Two Romanian cybercriminals who were accused of illicit crypto mining and stealing credit card details have been convicted by a US court.
The pair had created malware which had been designed with the intention in mind to steal users personal information. This would then be sold on the dark web in some form of fraud auction. Bogdan Nicolescu, 36, and Radu Miclaus, 37, were on trial for 12 days before the jury found them guilty of the crimes. In total, they were convicted of 12 counts of wire fraud, as well as conspiracy to traffic counterfeit service marks and aggravated identity theft. The pair will face sentencing in August. What the pair have been up to has been called a “criminal conspiracy”.
The operation was quite an old school one, with the malware supposedly created more than 10 years ago. It was based in the defendant’s home city of Bucharest and the pair would send out phoney emails in the style of big-name technology and money transfer companies. Victims who opened the emails would then have their details stolen. They had sent the malware to millions of people from as many as 100,000 email accounts. With the credentials, the pair, as well as another man who pleaded guilty, was used to rent server space, register domain names and pay for anonymization services.
This is one of a list of recent clampdowns on cybercrime, and the fact the court persecuted the pair despite the long distance, shows a real move by authorities to nip the problems in the bud. This should set a precedent for future cases.
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