20 years in prison for sending malware emails and infecting computers

According to ethical hacking specialists, two Romanian citizens have been sentenced to 20 years in prison for infecting more than 400,000 computer computers with a variant of malware to extract financial information, an incident that led to a million-dollar fraud.

Bogdan Nicolescu (35 years old) and Radu Miclaus (37 years old), were convicted by a federal jury in Ohio on more than 20 charges including conspiracy to commit electronic fraud, identity theft, money laundering, among others.

After the sentence was revealed, Eric Smith, FBI special agent in charge of the case, mentioned, “This is a reflection of the complex environment devised by cybercriminals so they can take advantage of unsuspecting users from anywhere in the world. Despite the complications, this resolution demonstrates the commitment of the FBI and multiple law enforcement agencies around the world to stop these crimes and bring those responsible to justice.”  

Ethical hacking specialists say the two defendants had been operating a cybercrime network known as the Bayrob Group in Bucharest for just over a decade. This group of threat actors developed dangerous malware variants, which were distributed via malicious emails; hackers subsequently extracted personal data, information related to the victim’s payment cards, among other confidential details.

Nicolescu and Miclaus also injected fake websites into legitimate websites, such as eBay, to trick users of legitimate websites, primarily fraudulent sales websites. Fraud by Romanian citizens would have represented losses of up to $4 million USD.

In related information, a British hacker previously arrested in the U.S. has received a sentence of more than six years in prison for his alleged involvement in a hacker group consisting mainly of Russian speakers. In addition to the time in prison, the hacker must pay a fine of about $332 million. Authorities say 25-year-old Zain Qaiser played a key role in the deployment of these fraudulent campaigns, generating millions of dollars in profits through the execution of thousands of ransomware attacks.

According to ethical hacking specialists from the International Cyber Security Institute (IICS) they mention that, over the past few months, authorities around the world have exercised even stricter measures against online criminal campaigns; these actions include closing multiple malicious sites and detecting users of a remote access tool that allows you to take control of a victim’s devices.