A federal jury convicted two Romanian alleged cybercriminals for distributing malware to steal credit card credentials and illegal mining of cryptocurrency, an announcement from the official website of the United States Department of Justice, announced April 11.
The malicious program allegedly distributed by suspects was reportedly used for cryptodikeking and theft of credit cards and other data that the suspects sold on the darknet markets and used for online auction fraud.
According to a press release from the Ministry of Justice, the 36-year-old Bogdan Nicholascu and the 37-year-old Radu Miklaus were convicted after a 12-day trial.
The two individuals were charged with wire fraud, conspiracy to trade counterfeit service marks, identity theft under aggravating circumstances, money laundering conspiracy and 12 wire fraud charges.
Suspects must be sentenced on August 14 of this year in the Northern District of Ohio.
The activity was allegedly carried out as a “criminal conspiracy” from Bucharest, the aforementioned suspects and another person who pleaded guilty. It is reported that the malware itself was developed in 2007, and then distributed via e-mail, posing as legitimate messages from organizations such as Western Union, Norton AntiVirus, and the Internal Revenue Service.
As explained in the press release, the recipients who clicked on the attached file in such a letter installed malware on their devices. Malicious programs also collect email addresses from victim contact lists. It is reported that infected computers also registered more than 100,000 AOL email accounts, which were used to further spread malware with millions of emails sent to stolen addresses.
The virus also redirected traffic to large websites, such as Facebook, PayPal, eBay, an almost identical version designed for phishing to obtain access credentials. Stolen credentials were reportedly used to rent server space, register domain names, and pay for anonymization services.
Finally, the report also states that the case was jointly investigated by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Romanian National Police.
Last month’s AT & T Cybersecurity report revealed that cryptocurrency mining is one of the most observable targets of hackers attacking enterprise cloud infrastructures.
At the end of March, there was news that a new strain of Trojan malware for Android phones targeted global users with the best crypto applications, such as Coinbase, BitPay and Bitcoin Wallet, as well as banks, including JPMorgan, Wells Fargo and Bank of America.