New Jersey prosecutors indicted eight hackers yesterday for trying to steal at least $15 million from U.S. customers through cybercrime, according to the latest news early this morning. And the eight hackers targeted 15 financial institutions and government agencies.
Paul Fischman, the prosecutor, said that using Internet technology to illegally transfer customer funds to bank accounts and prepaid debit cards, and using ATMs to withdraw cash, fraudulent purchases were carried out in Georgia, New York and other places. The hackers targeted ADP, Citigroup, eBay's PayPal mobile payment unit, JPMorgan Chase, TD Ameritrade holding and the U.S. Department of defense.
U.S. law enforcement officials are now working hard to crack down on Cybercrime, including the arrest of 11 suspects in a global credit card fraud crackdown in the United States, the United Kingdom and Vietnam last week, and a raid on the Costa Rican company Liberty Reserve in May. Liberty Reserve provides a 'virtual currency' system that allows users to transfer funds without traditional banking.
In the latest case, the federal prosecutor alleged that the chief conspirator was Oleksiy sharapka, 33, from Kiev, the capital of the Republic of Ukraine; the accomplices included Leonid yanovitsky, 38, and others, who also came from Kiev. Other defendants include Oleg pidergeria, 49, from Brooklyn, New York; Robert dubuc, 40, from Malden, Massachusetts; and Andrey yarmolitskiy, 41, from Atlanta. According to the prosecutor, the accused are responsible for the management of staff in their respective fields.
Court documents also showed that Richard Gundersen, 46, and Lamar Taylor, 37, were charged with conspiring with pidergeria and dubak respectively, while Ilya ostapyuk, 31, was charged with helping to transfer the proceeds of fraud. Gunderson and ostapyuk are from Brooklyn, and Taylor is from Salem, Massachusetts.
An agent from the US secret service described the international cyber crime in court documents. The federal prosecutor filed three charges against the eight defendants, namely, telecommunication fraud, money laundering and identity theft. If the first two charges are found, each defendant will face a maximum sentence of 20 years; if the third charge is found, they will face a maximum sentence of 15 years. "Cyber criminals infiltrate some of our most trusted financial institutions," fischerman said in a statement. '
The statement further said: 'today's allegations and arrests identified key members of the criminal organization, including three state principals, who used stolen identities to withdraw money from stolen accounts and participated in a series of internationally coordinated modern bank robberies. '
Mr. fischerman said that Mr. dubak, Mr. ostapyuk, Mr. pidergeria and Mr. yarmolitskiy were all arrested this week, Mr. Gunderson and Mr. Taylor were being pursued, while Mr. yanovitsky was still at large. Igor Niman, a lawyer representing ostapyuk, declined to comment, and lawyers for other defendants have yet to comment.
With the increasing popularity of the Internet, more and more cyber crimes are committed. It will become a worldwide topic to intensify the efforts to combat cyber crimes.