Artesian Federal Credit Union

On April 23rd, Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey gave a speech in Washington DC where he revealed his new stance on International Organized Crime. He said in the speech that in the days of Robert Kennedy it was said mobsters would be "prosecuted for spitting on the sidewalk", and promised that he had 120 prosecutors and 500 FBI agents today who were going to be just as tough. He released a strategy document called Overview of the Law Enforcement Strategy to Combat International Organized Crime. In this document, he stresses that they are going to "Marshal Information and Intelligence" to "Prioritize and Target the Most Significant IOC Threats", and "Attack From All Angles". today's phishing indictments have turned out to be. To make it clear that this includes cybercrime, Threat #5 and the accompanying example from that document are given here:
THREAT 5: International organized criminals use cyberspace to target U.S. victims and infrastructure. International organized criminals use an endless variety of cyberspace schemes to steal hundreds of millions of dollars at a cost to consumers and the U.S. economy. These schemes also jeopardize the security of personal information, the stability of business and government infrastructures, and the security and solvency of financial investment markets.

One example of the intersection between organized crime and cybercrime is found in Romania. There, traditional Romanian organized crime figures, previously arrested for crimes such as extortion, drug trafficking and human smuggling, are collaborating with other criminals to bring segments of the young hacker community under their control. They organize these new recruits into cells based on their cyber-crime specialty and they routinely target U.S. businesses and citizens in a variety of fraud schemes.

One of the most lucrative schemes involves online auction fraud, where U.S. citizens are tricked into buying or selling goods, and never receive the funds or merchandise. One particular online criminal, using the online nickname “Vladuz” engaged in multiple fraud schemes, including hacking into the computers of eBay, the largest online auction retailer. On April 17, 2008, Vlad Duiculescu, a/k/a “Vladuz” was arrested in Romania by Romanian police officials and charged with crimes related to these schemes. It is believed that Vladuz is a participant in a ring of Romanian hackers who work together to develop joint U.S. targets for online frauds, share hacking techniques and launder proceeds from multiple crimes committed in the United States. U.S. prosecutors and law enforcement agents worked in Romania with Romanian officials to ensure that a case could be successfully prosecuted in Romania.

I've just reviewed the 77-page indictment unsealed today, and its clear the Attorney General is making good on his promise. To make sure the Romanians didn't miss it, Deputy Attorney General Mark Filip was in Bucharest Romania to do the press release alongside his Romanian counterparts. Here is a copy of the press release in Romanian.

The anonymity of the Internet makes it an ideal tool for this kind of fraud, and law enforcement agencies in the United States have conducted several recent investigations in partnership with our Romanian colleagues. We are proud to do so, and we are learning from each other as we jointly help to protect our citizens and people in other countries from this sort of theft and crime.

For the people arrested today, the indictments charge that the defendants sent out mass quantities of e-mails, known as "spam, " to lure victims to go to fraudulent Websites that appeared to be legitimate banking or financial businesses. At those sites, victims were tricked into entering personal information such as financial and identity information and personal passwords—a scheme known as "phishing." That information was then harvested by “suppliers” who, in turn, sent the information to “cashiers” via real-time Internet chat sessions.

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