U.S. Jury Convicts Two Romanian Nationals Of Wire Fraud And Cryptojacking

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A U.S. federal jury has found two Romanians accused of committing various cybercrimes guilty, the Department of Justice (DoJ) revealed via an April 11 publication on its website.

The duo allegedly committed their crimes by spreading computer malware, which they used to illegally obtain unsuspecting users’ credit card details as well as to engage in illicit mining of cryptocurrency.

The two Romanian nationals reportedly went further than just use the malware for crypojacking or to steal credit card information. The Justice Department also noted that the two stole users’ data from the infected devices and proceeded to sell it on the darknet market.

The cybercriminals were also found to have used the stolen data in propagating online auction fraud.

As per the report, the two Romanians, Bogdan Nicolescu, 36 and Radu Miclaus, 37, were on trial for 12 days before the jury found them guilty.

The report documents that the jury convicted the two cybercriminals of charges related to wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, and conspiracy to commit money laundering and trafficking in counterfeit service marks. In total, each of the convicted men faced 12 counts of wire fraud.

Nicolescu and Miclaus have a date with the court slated for August 14 in Ohio’s Northern District Court.

The two, together with another individual who pleaded guilty, are alleged to have run their activities as a “criminal conspiracy” from their base in Bucharest, Romania.

It is alleged that the malware was developed in 2007 and the criminals would send malicious emails to unsuspecting individuals.

The offender’s emails posed as authentic messages from organizations such as Nirton AntiVirus, Western Union and Internal Revenue Service.

The intention was to get the recipient of the email to click on the attached file and the malware would be installed on their devices. They would then harvest email addresses from the infected devices.

The press release also explains that computers with the malware registered more than 100,000 AOL email accounts which the criminals used to further spread the malware. The majority of the emails were sent to the addresses that were stolen.

Whenever the target victims visited sites like Facebook, Paypal, and eBay, the malicious software would redirect them to almost similar websites. From here, the attackers used phishing to steal login credentials from victims.

The criminals then used the accessed data to rent server space, complete domain name registrations and for paying for anonymization services.

The U.S. Federal Investigation Bureau together with the Romanian National Police conducted the investigation.

Elsewhere, Bitcoin wallet provider Electrum is currently under a Denial- of- Service (DoS) attack, the service’s users reportedly losing millions of dollars.

In March, reports of a new Trojan malware strain that targets Android phones surfaced. The malware targeted app users of global crypto platforms such as Coinbase, payment processor BitPay and Bitcoin Wallet among 32 other apps. Also not spared are financial institutions, including the likes of JPMorgan, Bank of America and Wells Fargo.

AT&T Cybersecurity last month released a report stating that crypto mining remains the main goal behind most cyber attacks.


Disclaimer: This is not investment advice. Cryptocurrencies are highly volatile assets and are very risky investments. Do your research and consult an investment professional before investing. Never invest more than you can afford to lose. Never borrow money to invest in cryptocurrencies.

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