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Bayrob: Romanian auction fraud suspects extradited to the US

Going, going ...

By John Leyden, 19 Dec 2016

Three suspected cybercriminals have been arrested and extradited from Romania to the US over a multi-million dollar malware-facilitated scams.

The suspects are believed to be members of a gang, nicknamed Bayrob by Symantec researchers, which allegedly earned a living from online fraud for nearly a decade. The indictment claims they pocketed at least $4m from victims.

Since 2007, Symantec uncovered multiple versions of the Bayrob malware, which over time evolved from a facilitator of online auction fraud to a 300,000+ botnet for cryptocurrency mining. The security firm's intelligence helped lay the groundwork for a successful FBI sting operation and the capture of the suspects in Romania.

The gang began its career running elaborate cons where it created fake vehicle auctions to defraud victims out of tens of thousands of dollars (as reported by El Reg at the time) before diversifying into credit card fraud and hacking, as detailed in a blog post by Symantec here. The group infected between 60,000 and 160,000 computers and sent out 11 million malicious emails.

The suspects are alleged to have laundered the gang's ill-gotten gains through money mules.

Bogdan Nicolescu, 34 (alleged to be “Masterfraud”); Danet Tiberiu, 31 (alleged to be “Amightysa”); and Radu Miclaus, 34 (alleged to be “Minolta”) were arrested by police in Romania earlier this year before being extradited to the US, where they now face multiple charges relating to fraud, identity theft, money laundering, and trafficking in counterfeit goods or services.

More details of the 21-count indictment - unsealed on Friday - can be found here. ®

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