As cybercrime becomes increasingly damaging, the FBI has kept a list of “Cyber’s Most Wanted.”
Comprised of the most damaging cyber criminals in the world, the wanted list includes five officers from China’s People’s Liberation Army and ten individuals for whom the FBI is offering cash rewards.
The individuals are wanted for their roles in defrauding US citizens, companies, and government entities of money and sensitive economic information. With one major exception, these criminals were mostly motivated by greed, using the internet as a means to rip people off and steal valuable information.
The FBI’s compilation of a most-wanted list came in response to the increasing sophistication of cyber-crime. In November, hackers believed to be linked to North Korea carried out one of the most debilitating attacks ever against Sony Pictures Entertainment. This hack resulted in the theft of over a terabyte of data from the company.
A grand jury has indicted five members of China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) on 31 criminal counts. The PLA hackers are wanted for conspiring to commit computer fraud, theft of trade secrets, damaging computers through the transmission of code and commands, economic espionage, and other counts.
The five PLA hackers were all officers in the China's Third Department of the General Staff Department of the PLA. The hackers targeted companies that were either participating in joint ventures with Chinese companies or were pursuing legal action with, or against, state-owned businesses in China.
The five hackers were the first foreign government officials to ever be specifically targeted by the US for cyber crime.
Shaileshkumar P. Jain is a US citizen with ties to Swedish alleged cyber-criminal Bjorn Daniel Sundin (see next slide). Jain created an international cybercrime scheme in which users from over 60 countries purchased more than one million fraudulent software products. Jain and his co-conspirators also deceived victims through browser hijacking and multiple bogus error messages.
Jain is wanted for wire fraud, conspiracy to commit computer fraud, and computer fraud.
Bjorn Daniel Sundin is a Swedish cyber criminal with ties to Ukraine and a co-conspirator alongside Shaileshkumar P. Jain. Together, Sundin helped scam internet users across 60 countries, getting them to spend more than $US100 million on fraudulent software that installed malware on users' machines.
Sundin is wanted for wire fraud, conspiracy to commit computer fraud, and computer fraud.
Alexandr Sergeyevich Bobnev is a Russian cyber criminal wanted by the FBI for conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
Bobnev allegedly participated in a money-laundering scheme in which he gained unauthorised access to accounts of a major investment services provider. Through these compromised accounts, Bobnev transferred funds to money mules in the US who then transferred the money back to him. In total, Bobnev is thought to have attempted to wire over $US350,000.
Carlos Enrique Perez-Melara, an El Salvadoran previously living in San Diego, is wanted by the FBI for his alleged involvement in the creation of spyware known as 'Lover Spy.'
Perez-Melara ran a website which allowed people in a relationship to send spyware to their partner through an electronic greeting card for a nominal fee. The greeting card would then install spyware software on the recipient's computer which would send back a list of passwords, visited websites, emails, and keystroke logs to the purchaser of the service.
For his role in developing and distributing the spyware, Perez-Melara is wanted for seven crimes, including sending a surreptitious interception device.
Noor Aziz Uddin is a Pakistani cyber criminal who worked alongside fellow Pakistani cyber criminal Farhan Ul Arshad.
Uddin, a former telecommunications businessman, is wanted for his possible involvement in schemes that defrauded individuals, companies, and governmental entities. From 2008 to 2012, Uddin allegedly compromised computer systems leading to defrauding victims of amounts in excess of $US50 million. The two would compromise business telephone systems and then generate calls to premium numbers, incurring large amounts of cost that the callers were then billed for.
Uddin is wanted for conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to gain unauthorised access to computers, wire fraud, and unauthorised access to computers.
Farhan Ul Arshad is a Pakistani wanted for his possible involvement in wire fraud and FOR gaining unauthorised access to computers.
Arshad, a salesman and telecommunications manager, is wanted for alleged involvement in defrauding individuals, companies, and government entities that included telecom companies. Like Uddin, Arshad was involved in a compromising business telephone systems and redirecting calls to premium numbers.
Peteris Sahurovs is a Latvian cyber criminal wanted for wire fraud and gaining unauthorised access to a protected computer.
Sahurovs allegedly carried out a scheme from February 2010 to September 2010. He created a computer virus that, through advertisements on website pages, forced browsers to purchase fraudulent antivirus software. If a browser did not buy the software, their desktop would become overwhelmed with pop-ups and fake security alerts.
Through the sale of his 'antivirus' software, Sahurovs made more than $US2 million.
Artem Semenov is a Russian thought to be living in the US who is wanted for conspiracy to commit bank fraud, conspiracy to possess false identification documents, and the false use of a passport.
Semenov is wanted for allegedly participating in an Eastern European cyber-crime ring. The ring would recruit money mules to open bank accounts, cash out money through unauthorised money transfers, and then transfer the money back overseas.
Aleksey Belan is an alleged cyber criminal who holds Latvian and Russian citizenship. He is wanted for computer intrusion, aggravated identity theft, and fraud in connection with a computer.
Belan is alleged to have broken into the networks of three US-based e-commerce companies based in Nevada and California. Belan then proceeded to steal the companies' user databases, along with their user data and the encrypted passwords of millions of accounts. After the theft, Belan negotiated the sale of the databases.
Reward: $US1 million
Nicolae Popescu is a Romanian cyber criminal wanted by the FBI for eight alleged charges, including passport fraud, trafficking in counterfeit service marks, and money laundering.
Popescu allegedly played a significant role in an Internet fraud scheme in which conspirators based throughout Europe would post ads on auction sites. The advertised merchandise never existed, and conspirators posing as legitimate online payment services would convince potential customers in the US to purchase the products. Other conspirators would create bank accounts with fake passports into which victims in the US would wire payments.
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