33-year-old Russian national Sergey Medvedev had pleaded guilty before the U.S. District Court of Nevada for running Infraud Organisation, an Internet-based cybercriminal enterprise that was set up in 2010 and cost businesses and individuals more than $568 million in seven years.
Infraud Organisation was created in 2010 by Svyatoslav Bondarenko, a 34-year old Ukrainian national who was known as ‘Obnon’, ‘Rektor’ and ‘Helkern’ to those who knew him or interacted with him. In the years that followed, the international cyber crime ring engaged in ‘the large-scale acquisition, sale, and dissemination of stolen identities, compromised debit and credit cards, personally identifiable information, financial and banking information, computer malware, and other contraband’.
At its height, the international cyber crime ring boasted over ten thousand registered members, targeted a wide swath of financial institutions, merchants, and private individuals, and intended to cause £1.5 billion in losses.
In February 2018, the U.S. Department of Justice indicted as many as 36 cyber criminals after it busted Infraud Organisation. 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.
According to the Dapartment of Justice, Infraud Organisation’s heirarchy was composed of ‘Administrators’ who managed ‘day-to-day operation of and strategic planning for the organisation, approved and monitored membership, and meted out punishments and rewards to members.
The organisation was also composed of ‘Super Moderators’ who administered and oversaw specific subject-matter areas, ‘Moderators’ who moderated specific sub-forums, ‘Vendors’ who sold illicit products and services to Infraud members, and ‘VIP Members’ who used the Infraud forum to gather information and to facilitate their criminal activities.
“Infraud operated like a business to facilitate cyberfraud on a global scale. Its members allegedly caused more than $530 million in actual losses to consumers, businesses, and financial institutions alike—and it is alleged that the losses they intended to cause amounted to more than $2.2 billion,’ said Acting Assistant Attorney General Cronan.
“We are committed to working closely with our international counterparts to identify, investigate, and bring to justice the perpetrators of these crimes, wherever in the world they operate,” he added.
Sergey Medvedev, who was also known by names such as “Stells,” “segmed,” and “serjbear,” on hacker forums, was extradited from Thailand recently following an investigation conducted by the Las Vegas Office of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations and the Henderson, Nevada Police Department.