A Romanian citizen was sentenced to 65 months in prison for operating a payment card fraud scheme using an attack variant known as “skimming“. According to experts in IT systems audit, the defendant and his accomplices stole more than $850k USD, emptying the bank accounts of more than 500 people.
Bogdan Viorel Rusu, 38 years old, will also be required to comply with five years of freedom under the supervision of the law once he gets out of prison, plus he must pay a compensation of about $440k USD.
Rusu was arrested at the end of 2016 and has remained in custody since his arrest. Finally, the Romanian citizen pleaded guilty to various charges last September, including conspiracy to commit bank fraud and aggravated identity theft.
According to specialists in IT systems audit, a surveillance camera detected an individual installing a tiny camera and a device to clone the cards (skimmer) in an ATM located in the state of Massachusetts, approximately in August 2014.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents claim that Rusu was identified thanks to the photographs he himself presented in his asylum on U.S. territory application, in addition to the Agency’s investigation work.
The recording shows that the skimming device and the camera are connected to the cashier around 16:00 hours; A few hours later, around 20:00 a different individual approaches the cashier to take the camera and the skimmer. According to bank data, about 80 customers used the ATM during this time period and, time after, twelve of those customers reported losses for about $8.4k USD. The next day Rusu repeated the same operation, managing to extract more than $9K USD.
There are several types of skimming devices and, according to experts in IT systems audit from the International Institute of Cyber Security (IICS), Rusu and his accomplices used a very easy to detect for the authorities, because it is necessary that the Fraudsters install the devices physically in the cashier, plus they must return to the crime scene to collect the stolen information.
He is a well-known expert in mobile security and malware analysis. He studied Computer Science at NYU and started working as a cyber security analyst in 2003. He is actively working as an anti-malware expert. He also worked for security companies like Kaspersky Lab. His everyday job includes researching about new malware and cyber security incidents. Also he has deep level of knowledge in mobile security and mobile vulnerabilities.