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Beating the Cybercrime Fanatics

Oct 2nd 2015 at 7:20 AM

There are not many high-profile arrests and prosecutions of cybercriminals in comparison to the worldwide level of such activity. While these cases do send a much-needed message to the bad guys that cybercrime doesn’t necessarily pay, everyone involved in detecting it and then prosecuting the wrongdoing will admit that cybercrime remains alive and well.

In the middle of September, this year, the US Department of Justice made the announcement that two Russian nationals that were arrested in the Netherlands back in June 2012 for their connection to the ignominious hacking case of the Heartland Payment Systems, NASDAQ payment processor, in addition to other processers belonging to retail firms JC Penny, 7 Eleven, and JetBlue – both pleaded guilty to their role.

Those attacks alone resulted in over$300 million in losses and the theft of approximately 160 million credit card numbers.

Officials involved in the case credited international cooperation as being the key to the perpetrators’ ultimate convictions. They claimed that through close cooperation of a global nature, it’s more likely that cybercriminals will be brought to justice, irrespective of their whereabouts.

One of the criminals involved in this particular case – DmitriySmilianets, 32, of Moscow, sold stolen financial information on behalf of a hacking ring. Allegedly, he charged a fee of $10 for American credit card numbers together with associated data; $15 for Canadian credit card numbers together with associated data; and $50 for European credit card numbers along with associated data.

Apparently, a sheer lack of end-to-end tokenization and encryption were major factors in the data breach.

The convictions follow the sentencing of the now infamous hacker, Albert Gonzalez of Miami, who was the first of the Heartland breach cybercriminals to go down and is now serving a 20-year sentence, not only for his role in the Heartland breach but also with respect to cyberattacks on four other companies.


Other Arrests

Dutch police recently arrested two men, both from Amersfoot, Netherlands, given that they were allegedly involved in the CoinVault ransomware attacks. These attacks were purported to have infected around 1,500 Windows machines throughout Europe and the U.S.

The National High-Tech Crime Unit utilized research carried out by Panda Security and Kaspersky Lab to identify and then locate the alleged hackers, of ages 18 and 22.

The CoinVault ransomware attempted to infect many thousands of machines in The Netherlands, U.K., U.S., France, and Germany. It locks the victim out of their machine, then, for decryption of the files which is necessary to regain access, demands payment in Bitcoin.

Read Monument Capital Group Holdings’ article on Huffington Post for more about internet security and protection against cybercrime.

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