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DIICOT disbands hacker ring that incurred losses of 25 million US dollars


Prosecutors of the Directorate for Organised Crime and Terror Investigation (DIICOT) have conducted 36 home searches in the cities of Bucharest, Brasov, Galati, Timisoara and the counties of Valcea and Ilfov and apprehended 20 people accused of being members of a hacker ring that incurred losses of 25 million US dollars.

DIICOT reports in a press release that the ring members gained substantial financial benefits from vast cyber crime actions that entailed illegally accessing information systems, stealing confidential data or data not for disclosure as well as the conduct of fraudulent operations using e-payment instruments.

The defendants used the guise of commercial companies providing IT services in order to create and maintain information infrastructure allowing them access without a right to information systems belonging to known foreign companies, such as petrol stations and food shops, in breach of security measures and for the purpose of stealing data.

The ring members are said to have also acted to illegally intercept transmissions of non-public data between the systems involved in the conduct/authentication of credit card payments with the help of specially designed applications unlawfully installed on the targeted information systems.

According to the instructions of the interception software, the identification data of electronic payment instruments (credit cards) were either locally saved and later on transferred, or they were automatically resubmitted to dedicated servers or e-mail accounts, from where they were lately unloaded to be sent/sold to other persons or to be forged and fraudulently used.

Thus, December 2011 - October 2012, using a specialist virtual e-shop, the ring members sold 68,000 cards for 4 US dollars each, from where the defendants derived 270,000 US dollars.

As a result of the crimes committed by the defendants, fraudulent operations were conducted using 500,000 e-payment instruments valued at more than 25 million US dollars.