Leader Of Russian Cybercrime Ring Pleads Guilty


One of the leaders of Infraud Organization, the international cybercrime network, has pleaded guilty to conspiracy, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Sergey Medvedev, 33, of the Russian Federation, appeared before U.S. District Court Judge James Mahan in the District of Nevada charged with violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). The federal law provides extended criminal penalties for theft performed as part of a criminal organization

Launched in the Ukraine a decade ago, the internet-based cybercriminal enterprise stole identities, compromised debit and credit cards and personal, financial and banking information and spread computer malware, the Justice Department’s Criminal Division said in a statement.

Infraud was created in 2010 by Svyatoslav Bondarenko, 34, of Ukraine, to promote and grow interest in the Infraud Organization as the premier destination for purchasing retail items with counterfeit or stolen credit card information online, the Justice Department alleged in the indictment.

Using the slogan, “In Fraud We Trust,” the group directed traffic and potential purchasers to sites of its members, which served as online conduits to traffic in stolen identification, financial and banking information, malware and other illicit goods, according to the complaint.

Infraud also provided an escrow service to facilitate illicit digital currency transactions among its members and employed screening protocols that purported to ensure only high quality vendors of stolen cards, personally identifiable information, and other contraband were permitted to advertise to members, investigators said.

As of March 2017, the Justice Department said there were 10,901 registered members of the group which perpetrated $2.2 billion in intended losses and more than $568 million in actual losses among financial institutions, merchants and individuals, and would have continued to do so for the foreseeable future if left unchecked, the Justice Department said.

In April, a joint study by the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and Britain’s National Cyber Security Centre found a wave of cyberattacks taking advantage of COVID-19 in the U.S. and the United Kingdom. The attacks primarily come in the form of deceptive or confusing emails with links that appear to be for upgrades to Zoom, Microsoft or other programs used while working from home. In fact, they are malware seeking to steal peoples’ information, the survey said.

An earlier study found ransomware cyber-attacks have risen by 41 percent in 2020 compared to last year, with 205,280 enterprises having lost access to hacked files, according to data from the ransomware security firm Emsisoft.