Two leading operatives of the Infraud Organisation cyber crime group- one Russian and the other Macedonian- have been sentenced in the U.S. for their roles in various cyber crimes such as identity theft, the use of malware, and the use and sale of compromised credit card data.
In a press release, the Department of Justice said last week that the two members of the infamous Infraud Organisation were sentenced by the District of Nevada to 10 years and five years in prison respectively. Prior to its takedown, Infraud Organisation was a well-organised international cyber crime ring that boasted nearly eleven thousand registered members and routinely targeted financial institutions, businesses, and individuals for financial gain.
The cyber crime group was best known for engaging in the mass acquisition and sale of fraud-related goods and services, including stolen identities, compromised credit card data, computer malware, and other contraband since 2010.
According to the Department of Justice, Sergey Medvedev, who was sentenced to 10 years in prison, was the co-founder of Infraud along with Syvatoslav Bondarenko of Ukraine and played an active part in the organisation since November 2010 until it was taken down by law enforcement in February 2018.
Medvedev actively participated in the Infraud online forum facilitating illegal transactions among Infraud members. He also worked as Infraud’s administrator, handling day-to-day management, deciding membership, and meting out discipline to those who violated the enterprise’s rules.
Marko Leopard, who was sentenced to five years in prison, joined Infraud Organisation in June 2011, offering his services as an “abuse immunity” web hoster to Infraud members who wished to create websites to sell contraband.
Leopard catered to websites offering illegal goods and services, ignoring any abuse reports from internet users. He hosted a number of sites for Infraud members in this fashion, providing the infrastructure that allowed his co-conspirators to profit off of their criminal activities.
DoJ added that the Infraud Organisation operated for more than seven years under the slogan “In Fraud We Trust,” and its members and associates operated worldwide. The organisation was responsible for the sale and/or purchase of more than 4 million compromised credit and debit card numbers amounting to a loss of more than $568 million.
In February 2018, a U.S. court indicted as many as 36 cyber criminals, including Medvedev and Leopard, after it took down the cyber crime ring. The indicted members hailed from the United States, the UK, Russia, Pakistan, Australia, France, Italy, Kosovo, Serbia, Egypt, Moldova, Bangladesh, Ivory Coast, Ukraine, Canada, and Macedonia. In June last year, Medvedev pleaded guilty before the U.S. District Court of Nevada for running Infraud Organisation.
“Dismantling a cybercrime organization like Infraud requires aggressive pursuit of not only those who steal, sell, and use personal data, but also those who provide the infrastructure that allows cybercrime organizations to operate,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicholas L. McQuaid of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.
“Today’s sentences should serve as a warning to any web host who willingly looks the other way for a quick buck — and that the United States will hold these bad actors accountable, even when they operate behind a computer screen halfway across the world.”
“While criminal operators lurk in the deepest corners of the internet, they ultimately do not escape the reach of law enforcement. We will continue to aggressively investigate, disrupt, and dismantle hidden illegal networks that pose a threat in cyberspace.
HSI and our partners are at the forefront of combating cyber financial crimes and illicit activities spread by online criminals looking for financial gain,” said Francisco Burrola of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Las Vegas.