Entries with tag brian krebs.

Security Researcher Thwarts Attempt to Frame Him for Heroin Possession

A US-based Internet-security researcher has discovered and blocked a hacker’s attempt to frame him for possession of heroin. Researcher Brian Krebs claims a Russian cybercrime forum’s administrator devised a plan to purchase heroin using bitcoin donations from other forum members and deliver the drugs to Krebs. A compatriot was then supposed to pretend to be a concerned neighbor and call the police to raid the researcher’s house.Krebs, however, saw the plot unfold while monitoring the Russian website and contacted the FBI and local police, who took the drugs once they arrived. Krebs noted that this is not the first attempt by cybercriminals to cause problems for him that might dissuade him from reporting on them. “One called in a phony hostage situation that resulted in a dozen heavily armed police surrounding my home,” he wrote. “Another opened a $20,000 new line of credit in my name. Others sent more than $1,000 in bogus PayPal donations from hacked accounts. Still more ‘admirers’ paid my cable bill for the next three years using stolen credit cards. Malware authors have even used my name and likeness to peddle their wares.” (BBC)(Krebs on Security) 

Digital Cash Exchange Takedown Hurting Criminals Worldwide

The takedown of a Costa Rican-based digital cash exchange has caused “pain” to the criminals who used the virtual currency service to launder money, according to the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, which named its founder, Arthur Budovsky, and five co-conspirators in the allegation. Users of the service could anonymously exchange funds without requiring their identity to be verified. In addition to seizing the operation and its domains, law enforcement officials seized or restricted the activity of 45 bank accounts. Brian Krebs, a security expert who publishes Krebs on Security, told the BBC he had seen comments posted on crime-linked restricted access forums suggesting many criminal enterprises had suffered “steep losses” as a result. Liberty Reserve, as described  in the unsealed indictment published Tuesday, was “a financial hub of the cyber-crime world, facilitating a broad range of online criminal activity, including credit card fraud, identity theft, investment fraud, computer hacking, child pornography, and narcotics trafficking.”  The federal indictment also stated “Because virtually all of liberty reserve’s business derived from suspected criminal activity, the scope of the defendants’ unlawful conduct is staggering.” Prosecutors estimate that between 2006 and May 2013 the organization laundered more than $6 billion in criminal proceeds, making it “the bank of choice for the criminal underworld.” Of the seven individuals charged in the case, Budovsky was arrested in Madrid, Spain; four others named have been arrested and two more individuals are being sought by law enforcement in Costa Rica. The charges against them, in addition to conspiracy to commit money laundering, include conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money-transmitting business, and operating an unlicensed money-transmitting business. The money laundering count carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison; the other two charges have a maximum sentence of five years each. The federal attorneys note Liberty Reserve did have legitimate users, primarily outside the US, who used it as a PayPal alternative for transactions. (BBC)(The New York Times)(Krebs on Security)

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