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U.S Charges Two Iranian Hackers for SamSam Ransomware Attacks

U.S Charges Two Iranian Hackers for SamSam Ransomware Attacks
November 28, 2018Mohit Kumar
The Department of Justice announced Wednesday charges against two Iranian nationals for their involvement in creating and deploying the notorious SamSam ransomware. The alleged hackers, Faramarz Shahi Savandi, 34, and Mohammad Mehdi Shah, 27, have been charged on several counts of computer hacking and fraud charges, the indictment unsealed today at New Jersey court revealed. The duo used SamSam ransomware to extort over $6 million in ransom payments since 2015, and also caused more than $30 million in damages to over 200 victims, including hospitals , municipalities, and public institutions. According to the indictment, Savandi and Mansouri have been charged with a total of six counts, including one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, one count of conspiracy to commit fraud and related activity in connection with computers, two counts of intentional damage to a protected computer, and two counts of transmitting a demand in relation to damaging a protected computer. Si

Silk Road Admin Pleads Guilty – Could Face Up to 20 Years in Prison

Silk Road Admin Pleads Guilty – Could Face Up to 20 Years in Prison
October 06, 2018Swati Khandelwal
An Irish national who helped run the now-defunct dark web marketplace Silk Road pleaded guilty on Friday to drug trafficking charges that carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. Gary Davis , also known as Libertas, was one of the site administrators and forum moderators for Silk Road, then-largest underground marketplace on the Internet used by thousands of users to sell and buy drugs and other illegal goods and services. Silk Road went down after the law enforcement raided its servers in 2013 and arrested its founder Ross William Ulbricht , who has been sentenced to life in prison after being convicted on multiple counts related to the underground drug marketplace. The FBI also seized Bitcoins (worth about $33.6 million, at the time) from the website. Those Bitcoins were later sold in a series of auctions by the United States Marshals Service (USMS). According to a press release published by US Department of Justice, Davis helped the black market website "r

16-Year-Old Boy Who Hacked Apple's Private Systems Gets No Jail Time

16-Year-Old Boy Who Hacked Apple's Private Systems Gets No Jail Time
September 27, 2018Swati Khandelwal
An Australian teenager who pleaded guilty to break into Apple's private systems  multiple times over several months and download some 90GB of secure files has avoided conviction and will not serve time in prison. An Australian Children's Court has given the now 19-year-old adult defendant, who was 16 at the time of committing the crime, a probation order of eight months, though the magistrate made him understand how serious his offense was. The teen, whose cannot be named under a local law that protects the identity of juveniles, told the court that he hacked into Apple's systems because he was a huge fan of the company and "dreamed of" working for the technology giant. The "Hacky Hack Hack" Folder The teen hacked into Apple's servers not once, but numerous times over the course of more than a year—between June 2015 and November 2016, and in April 2017. As soon as the tech giant detected his presence on their servers, it blocked him and

Russian Hacker Pleads Guilty to Operating Kelihos Botnet

Russian Hacker Pleads Guilty to Operating Kelihos Botnet
September 13, 2018Mohit Kumar
The Russian man who was accused of operating the infamous Kelihos botnet has finally pleaded guilty in a U.S. federal court. Peter Yuryevich Levashov , 38, of St. Petersburg, Russia, pleaded guilty on Wednesday in U.S. federal court in Connecticut to computer crime, wire fraud, conspiracy and identity theft charges. Levashov, also known by many online aliases including Peter Severa, Petr Levashov, Petr Severa and Sergey Astakhov, has admitted of operating several botnets, including the Storm, Waledac and Kelihos botnets, since the late 1990s until he was arrested in April 2017 . Kelihos botnet, dated back to 2010, was a global network of tens of thousands of infected computers that were used to steal login credentials, send bulk spam emails, and infect computers with ransomware and other malware. Russian Hacker Infects 50,000 Computers With Kelihos Botnet Storm and Waledac botnets also shared Kelihos code, but kelihos was the most notorious botnet of all that alone infect

19-Year-Old Hacker Arrested Over Making Hoax School and Flight Bomb Threats

19-Year-Old Hacker Arrested Over Making Hoax School and Flight Bomb Threats
September 06, 2018Mohit Kumar
British police have arrested a 19-year-old teen who is an alleged member of Apophis Squad cybercriminal group responsible for making hoax bomb threats to thousands of schools and airlines; and DDoSing ProtonMail and Tutanota secure email services. George Duke-Cohan was arrested in his bedroom at his family home in Watford by British National Crime Agency (NCA) on 31st August and pledged guilty to three counts of making bomb threats to schools and airlines in Luton Magistrates' Court on Monday. Duke-Cohan spammed out more than 24,000 emails to schools across the UK and in the US as well, claiming that pipe bombs had been planted on the premises, which would blow up the building if $5,000 extortion money was not made within 3 hours. He Got Arrested Third-Time For Making Hoax Bomb Threats This is not the first time Duke-Cohan has been arrested for spreading fake bomb threats. He first created panic in March this year when he emailed thousands of schools in the UK warnin

Hacker Who Leaked Celebrities' Personal Photos Gets 8 Months in Prison

Hacker Who Leaked Celebrities' Personal Photos Gets 8 Months in Prison
August 31, 2018Swati Khandelwal
George Garofano (left) The fourth celebrity hacker—who was charged earlier this year with hacking into over 250 Apple iCloud accounts belonged to Jennifer Lawrence and other Hollywood celebrities—has been sentenced to eight months in prison. Earlier this year, George Garofano, 26, of North Branford, admitted to illegally obtaining credentials of his victims' iCloud accounts using a phishing scheme, carried out from April 2013 to October 2014, in which he posed as a member of Apple's security team and tricked victims into revealing their iCloud credentials. Using stolen credentials, Garofano then managed to steal victims' personal information, including their sensitive and intimate photographs and videos, from their iCloud accounts, and then leaked them on online forums, like 4Chan. Among the victims were Jennifer Lawrence, Kim Kardashian , Kirsten Dunst, Kate Upton, American Olympic gold medallist Misty May Treanor and actors Alexandra Chando, Kelli Garner and

CoinVault Ransomware Authors Sentenced to 240 Hours of Community Service

CoinVault Ransomware Authors Sentenced to 240 Hours of Community Service
July 26, 2018Mohit Kumar
Almost three years after the arrest of two young Dutch brothers, who pleaded guilty to their involvement in creating and distributing CoinVault ransomware malware , a district court in Rotterdam today sentenced them to 240 hours of community service. In 2015, the two suspects — Melvin (25-year-old) and Dennis van den B. (21-year-old) — were arrested from Amersfoort on suspicion of involvement in CoinVault ransomware attacks. The duo was arrested by law enforcement with the help of researchers from Kaspersky Labs , who reverse-engineered the malware and found the full name of one of the suspects and their IP address left accidentally on the command and control server. CoinVault ransomware campaign that began in May 2014 was one of the most successful file-encrypting ransomware program of its time that encrypted over 14,000 Windows computers worldwide, primarily the Netherlands, the US, the UK, Germany, and France. Just like other ransomware attacks, the sole intent of CoinVau

21-Year-Old Woman Charged With Hacking Selena Gomez's Email Account

21-Year-Old Woman Charged With Hacking Selena Gomez's Email Account
July 17, 2018Wang Wei
A 21-year-old New Jersey woman has been charged with hacking into the email accounts of pop star and actress Selena Gomez, stealing her personal photos, and then leaked them to the Internet. Susan Atrach of Ridgefield Park was charged Thursday with 11 felony counts—five counts of identity theft, five counts of accessing and using computer data to commit fraud or illegally obtain money, property or data, and one count of accessing computer data without permission. According to the prosecutors, Atrach allegedly hacked into email accounts belonging to Gomez and one of her associates several times between June 2015 and February 2016, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office said in a press release . She then obtained images and other media stored there and shared them with her friends and posted them online. Gomez, who has more than 138 million followers on Instagram, was the victim of a hacking attack in August 2017, when photographs of her ex-boyfriend Justin Bieb

21-Year-Old Creator of LuminosityLink Hacking Tool Pleads Guilty

21-Year-Old Creator of LuminosityLink Hacking Tool Pleads Guilty
July 17, 2018Mohit Kumar
As it was speculated that the author of LuminosityLink RAT was arrested last year, a plea agreement made available to the public today confirmed the news. Back in September last year, Europol's European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) and National Crime Agency began the crackdown on the LuminosityLink RAT, targeting sellers and users of the malware, which resulted in the seizure of a considerable number of computers and internet accounts across the world, and complete takedown of the threat. Colton Grubbs , a 21-year-old man from Kentucky, the developer of the LumunosityLink RAT has pleaded guilty to federal charges of creating, selling and providing technical support for the malware to his customers, who used it to gain unauthorized access to thousands of computers across 78 countries worldwide. First surfaced in April 2015, the LuminosityLink RAT (Remote Access Trojan), also known as Luminosity, was a hacking tool that was sold for $40, marketing itself as a legitimate tool for Wi

Man Who Hacked Jail Systems to Release His Friend Early Gets 7-Years in Prison

Man Who Hacked Jail Systems to Release His Friend Early Gets 7-Years in Prison
April 30, 2018Mohit Kumar
Remember a young hacker who hacked jail systems in an attempt to release his prison inmate early? Well, that hacker will now be joining his inmate behind bars. Konrads Voits of Ypsilanti, Michigan, has been sentenced to seven years and three months in prison for attempting to hack the Washtenaw County Jail computer system and modifying prison records to get his friend released early. Besides spending 87 months in prison, Voits has also been ordered to pay $235,488 in fine to Washtenaw County for the cost accrued in investigating and cleaning up the infiltration that resulted in the compromise of personal information of around 1,600 employees, the US Justice Department announced last week. Between January 24th, 2017 and March 10th, 2017, Voits successfully tricked IT staff at Washtenaw County Jail into visiting a phony website at "ewashtenavv.org," which mimics the official URL, "ewashtenaw.org." The malicious website then installed malware on the IT

Police Shut Down World's Biggest 'DDoS-for-Hire' Service–Admins Arrested

Police Shut Down World's Biggest 'DDoS-for-Hire' Service–Admins Arrested
April 25, 2018Mohit Kumar
In a major hit against international cybercriminals, the Dutch police have taken down the world's biggest DDoS-for-hire service that helped cyber criminals launch over 4 million attacks and arrested its administrators. An operation led by the UK's National Crime Agency (NCA) and the Dutch Police, dubbed " Power Off, " with the support of Europol and a dozen other law enforcement agencies, resulted in the arrest of 6 members of the group behind the " webstresser.org " website in Scotland, Croatia, Canada and Serbia on Tuesday. With over 136,000 registered users, Webstresser website lets its customers rent the service for about £10 to launch Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks against their targets with little or no technical knowledge. "With webstresser.org, any registered user could pay a nominal fee using online payment systems or cryptocurrencies to rent out the use of stressers and booters," Europol said. The service was also

Russian Hacker Who Allegedly Hacked LinkedIn and Dropbox Extradited to US

Russian Hacker Who Allegedly Hacked LinkedIn and Dropbox Extradited to US
March 31, 2018Mohit Kumar
A Russian man accused of hacking LinkedIn , Dropbox , and Formspring in 2012 and possibly compromising personal details of over 100 million users, has pleaded not guilty in a U.S. federal court after being extradited from the Czech Republic. Yevgeniy Aleksandrovich Nikulin, 30, of Moscow was arrested in Prague on October 5, 2016, by Interpol agents working in collaboration with the FBI, but he was recently extradited to the United States from the Czech Republic on Thursday for his first appearance in federal court. Nikulin's arrest started an extradition battle between the United States and Russia, where he faces significantly lesser criminal charges of stealing $3,450 via Webmoney in 2009. But the Czech Republic ruled in favor of the United States. In the U.S., Nikulin is facing: 3 counts of computer intrusion 2 counts of intentional transmission of information, code, or command causing damage to a protected computer 2 counts of aggravated identity theft 1 count

British Hacker 'Lauri Love' will not be extradited to US, Court Rules

British Hacker 'Lauri Love' will not be extradited to US, Court Rules
February 05, 2018Swati Khandelwal
British citizen and hacker Lauri Love, who was accused of hacking into United States government websites, will not be extradited to stand trial in the U.S., the High Court of England and Wales ruled today. Love, 33, is facing a 99-year prison sentence in the United States for allegedly carrying out series of cyber attacks against the FBI, US Army, US Missile Defence Agency, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and New York's Federal Reserve Bank between 2012 and 2013. The High Court ruled Monday that Love should be tried in U.K. after Lord Chief Justice Lord Burnett of Maldon and Justice Ouseley heard he suffered severe mental illness like Asperger syndrome, eczema, asthma, and depression, and may kill himself if extradited. At Westminster Magistrates' Court in London in late 2016, District Judge Nina Tempia ordered Love to be extradited to the U.S. to stand trial, although his lawyers appealed the decision, arguing that he should be tried for his al

15-Year-Old Schoolboy Posed as CIA Chief to Hack Highly Sensitive Information

15-Year-Old Schoolboy Posed as CIA Chief to Hack Highly Sensitive Information
January 20, 2018Mohit Kumar
Remember " Crackas With Attitude "? A notorious pro-Palestinian hacking group behind a series of embarrassing hacks against United States intelligence officials and leaked the personal details of 20,000 FBI agents , 9,000 Department of Homeland Security officers, and some number of DoJ staffers in 2015. Believe or not, the leader of this hacking group was just 15-years-old when he used "social engineering" to impersonate CIA director and unauthorisedly access highly sensitive information from his Leicestershire home, revealed during a court hearing on Tuesday. Kane Gamble , now 18-year-old, the British teenager hacker targeted then CIA director John Brennan , Director of National Intelligence James Clapper , Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson, FBI deputy director Mark Giuliano , as well as other senior FBI figures. Between June 2015 and February 2016, Gamble posed as Brennan and tricked call centre and helpline staff into giving away broadband and

LeakedSource Founder Arrested for Selling 3 Billion Stolen Credentials

LeakedSource Founder Arrested for Selling 3 Billion Stolen Credentials
January 16, 2018Swati Khandelwal
Canadian authorities have arrested and charged an Ontario man for operating a website that collected 'stolen' personal identity records and credentials from some three billion online accounts and sold them for profit. According to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), the 27-year-old Jordan Evan Bloom of Thornhill is the person behind the notorious LeakedSource.com —a major repository that compiled public data breaches and sold access to the data, including plaintext passwords. Launched in late 2015, LeakedSource had collected around 3 billion personal identity records and associated passwords from some of the massive data breaches, including LinkedIn , VK.com , Last.Fm , Ashley Madison ,  MySpace , Twitter ,  Weebly and Foursquare , and made them accessible and searchable to anyone for a fee. LeakedSource was shut down , and its associated social media accounts have been suspended after the law enforcement raided its operator earlier last year. However, another

Fourth Fappening Hacker Admits to Stealing Celebrity Pics From iCloud Accounts

Fourth Fappening Hacker Admits to Stealing Celebrity Pics From iCloud Accounts
January 13, 2018Swati Khandelwal
Almost three years after the massive leakage of high-profile celebrities' photos—well known as " The Fappening " or " Celebgate " scandal—a fourth hacker has been charged with hacking into over 250 Apple iCloud accounts belonged to Hollywood celebrities. A federal court has accused George Garofano , 26, of North Branford, of violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, who had been arrested by the FBI. Garofano has admitted to illegally obtaining credentials for his victims' iCloud accounts using a phishing scheme, which eventually allowed him to steal personal information on his victims, including sensitive and private photographs and videos. Among celebrities whose photographs were posted online back in 2014 are Jennifer Lawrence, Kim Kardashian, Kirsten Dunst, and Kate Upton. Also, female victims also include American Olympic gold medallist Misty May Treanor and actors Alexandra Chando, Kelli Garner and Lauren O'Neil. Between April 2013 to Oct

Two Romanians Charged With Hacking Police CCTV Cameras Before Trump Inauguration

Two Romanians Charged With Hacking Police CCTV Cameras Before Trump Inauguration
December 29, 2017Swati Khandelwal
Remember how some cybercriminals shut down most of Washington D.C. police's security cameras for four days ahead of President Donald Trump's inauguration earlier this year? Just a few days after the incident, British authorities arrested two people in the United Kingdom, identified as a British man and a Swedish woman, both 50-year-old, on request of U.S. officials. But now US federal court affidavit  has revealed that two Romanian nationals were behind the attack that hacked into 70% of the computers that control Washington DC Metropolitan Police Department's surveillance camera network in January this year, CNN reports. The two suspects—Mihai Alexandru Isvanca, 25, and Eveline Cismaru, 28—were arrested in Bucharest on December 15 on charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and various forms of computer fraud. According to the criminal complaint unsealed in Washington, the pair hacked 123 of the Metropolitan Police Department's 187 outdoor surveillance c

Romanian Police Arrest 5 People for Spreading CTB Locker and Cerber Ransomware

Romanian Police Arrest 5 People for Spreading CTB Locker and Cerber Ransomware
December 20, 2017Mohit Kumar
Romanian police have arrested five individuals suspected of infecting tens of thousands of computers across Europe and the United States in recent years by spreading two infamous ransomware families—Cerber and CTB Locker. Under Operation Bakovia —a major global police operation conducted by Europol, the FBI and law enforcement agencies from Romanian, Dutch, and the UK—raided six houses in East Romania and made five arrests, Europol said on Wednesday. Authorities have seized a significant amount of hard drives, external storage, laptops, cryptocurrency mining devices, numerous documents and hundreds of SIM cards during the raid. One thing to note is that all of the five suspects were not arrested for developing or maintaining the infamous ransomware strains, but for allegedly spreading CTB Locker and Cerber. Based on CryptoLocker, CTB Locker , aka Critroni, was the most widely spread ransomware families in 2016 and was the first ransomware to use the Tor anonymizing network

Young Hacker, Who Took Over Jail Network to Get Friend Released Early, Faces Prison

Young Hacker, Who Took Over Jail Network to Get Friend Released Early, Faces Prison
December 05, 2017Swati Khandelwal
Well, " a friend in need is a friend indeed " goes a long way, but in this case, this phrase hardly makes any sense. A 27-year-old Michigan man who hacked into the government computer system of Washtenaw County Jail to alter inmate records and gain early release for his friend is now himself facing federal charges after getting caught. Konrads Voits from Ann Arbor, Michigan, pleaded guilty in federal court last week for hacking into the Washtenaw County government computer system earlier this year using malware, phishing, and social engineering tricks in an attempt to get his friend released early from jail. Prosecutors say Voits also used phone calls to prison staff claiming to be a manager at the County Jail's IT department and tricking them into downloading and running malware on their computers by visiting a phony website at "ewashtenavv.org," which mimics the Washtenaw official URL, "ewashtenaw.org." Voit then obtained the remote logi

After 27-Year Sentence, Russian Hacker Faces Another 14 Years in Prison

After 27-Year Sentence, Russian Hacker Faces Another 14 Years in Prison
December 01, 2017Swati Khandelwal
Roman Valerevich Seleznev , the son of a prominent Russian lawmaker who's already facing a 27-year prison sentence in the United States, has been handed another 14-year prison sentence for his role in an "organized cybercrime ring" that caused $59 Million in damages across the US. In April this year, Seleznev, the 33-year-old son of a Russian Parliament member of the nationalist Liberal Democratic Party (LDPR), was sentenced to 27 years in prison for payment card fraud, causing nearly $170 million in damages to small business and financial institutions in the US. The sentence was so far the longest sentence ever imposed in the United States for a hacking-related case. Now, after pleading guilty in two criminal cases stemming from a hacking probe in September, Seleznev Thursday  received another 14-year prison sentence for racketeering in Nevada and another 14 years for conspiracy to commit bank fraud charges in Georgia. The sentences will run concurrently to
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