US Charges Dozens In Massive Cyberidentity Fraud Scheme

Javier Stokes
February 9, 2018

The US Justice Department indicted 36 people on Wednesday in connection with an global identify theft ring.

A nine-count superseding indictment by a federal grand jury in Las Vegas, unsealed on Wednesday, charges 36 individuals with a range of offenses, including racketeering conspiracy.

The group, it is claimed, is responsible for somewhere between $530m and $2.2bn in losses, related to the compromise of 4.3 million credit cards, debit cards and bank accounts in all fifty USA states and beyond America's borders.

According to the Justice Department statement, there were 10,901 registered members of the Infraud Organization as of March 2017, who were divided into specific roles.

Thirty-six people have been arrested by authorities in Australia, Britain, France, Italy, Kosovo and Serbia as part of the operation. Bondarenko remains at large.

None of the defendants named in the Infraud Organization indictment is from Nevada.

Excerpt from the indictment.

Thirteen people were taken into custody across the globe, including in California, New York and Alabama.

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"In Fraud We Trust" was the slogan of the Infraud Organization, according to a federal indictment unsealed February 7. He remains at large.

Bondarkeno's whereabouts are unknown; he went missing in 2015, according to the indictment.

The members of the group were directed to "vending" websites serving as conduits to traffic in stolen identities and banking information along with malware and other stolen illicit goods, prosecutors said. (See Hacker Havens: The Rise of Bulletproof Hosting Environments).

It is, in other words, a carding group that peddles lists of stolen credit and debit card data - pilfered from servers, vendor databases, and payment terminal hardware - and serves as an educational resource for tricks of the trade. Such fraud may be enabled with the help of fraudulent identification documents.

Created in 2010 by Ukrainian national Svyatoslav Bondarenko, the group used a scheme that enabled the purchase and sale of US Social Security numbers, as well as birthdays and passwords stolen from around the world.

Malware: Malicious software for compromising PCs, mobile devices and point-of-sale terminals. In the indictment, prosecutors stated that members of the cybercrime organization stole PayPal account information from an estimated 1,300 individuals and sold more than 795,000 HSBC bank accounts. (See Cybercrime as a Service: Tools + Knowledge = Profit). A newly released indictment also names 23 other alleged members of Infraud who remain at large.

Like many major cybercriminal organizations, it was against the rules to buy or sell stolen access devices and other contraband belonging to victims within Russian Federation.

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