The feds have been busy on the cyber prosecutions front. First, on March 18, 2016, the FBI announced that a multi-agency collaborative effort blew up an identity theft ring whose leader was an inmate in a Georgia prison. The ring defrauded the federal government up to $1 million. The ring had employees in big box stores with access to customer credit cards providing credit card information which was used to produce counterfeit identification documents so those committing the fraud could pose as real store members. Then the criminals were able to obtain new credit cards to purchase gift cards, gas and groceries. Nineteen Atlanta residents were convicted of their part in the scheme and will be sentenced in the near future.
On March 21, 2016, Virginia federal prosecutors announced that three Syraians have been charged with hacking attacks in the United States, including a plot to impersonate an Associated Press tweet about an explosion at the White House which caused a dip in the stock market. The hackers are alleged to have hacked into multiple Twitter accounts of well-known media outlets.
Two of the hackers were accused of trying to hack into White House computers on multiple occasions. They are also alleged to have attempted to extort money from at least fourteen hacking victims. Arrests have been issued for all three hackers, two of which are believed to be located in Syria and the third in Germany.
The FBI have added two of the hackers to its Cyber’s Most Wanted List and is offering a reward of up to $100,000 each for information that leads to their arrest.
Finally, an analyst that was previously employed with the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago pled guilty last week to charges that he stole documents related to tracking the health of financial institutions. He printed numerous documents and took the documents home on his last day on the job at the Federal Reserve while he was negotiating employment with a new outfit. He is banned for 10 years from working at a banking institution insured by the FDIC.—