Romanian cybercrime ring busted

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Thanks to a joint effort between the FBI and Romanian police, 24 Romanians believed to be part of an organized cybercrime ring were arrested during the past week.

Reports also state that the alleged ringleader, Romeo Chita, was arrested in the home of a Romanian elected official, Dumitru Puzdrea, who claims to have no relationship to the crime organization.

The group allegedly was involved in a number of identity theft schemes involving credit cards and online auctions, stealing at least 400,000 Euros ($640,000) from foreign victims.

According to a blog post by Gary Warner, director of research in computer forensics at the University of Alabama Birmingham, some of the electronic commerce sites targeted by the group included eBay, and Craigslist. During the arrest, police seized mobile phones, SIM cards and funds from Europe and the United States.

America and Europe are main targets for cybercriminals because of the amount of money to be had, Yuval Ben-Itzhak of Finjan told on Thursday.

He added that organized cybercrime is becoming more prevalent.

“As cyberspace is global and the law is local, cybercriminals are taking advantage of this crack,” he said. "Located in Eastern Europe or in Asia, they can conduct crime almost everywhere around the world.”

Phishing and data-stealing are the two top categories of crimes, Ben-Itzhak said.

“We do not see virus or worm attacks anymore. The reason for that is because viruses cause damage to the PC, and there is not much value in this action to the criminal. Stealing data has a lot of value since the criminal can later sell the data and cash out.”

“Cybercrime is real, is organized and is mature,” Ben-Itzhak said. “Assuming these are the right people, I welcome the arrests. However, there are many more people around the world actively participating in cybercrime organizations. This is just the tip of the iceberg.”

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