U.S. busts $530 million Infraud cybercrime ring

Worldwide law enforcement authorities arrested 13 defendants from the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Kosovo and Serbia.

Department of Justice officials have filed charges against 36 people allegedly involved with Infraud Organization (no really, that's the name), a global cybercrime ring with roots in the USA as well as numerous other countries.

"The sole objective of the organization is the large scale acquisition and dissemination of stolen identities, compromised debit and credit cards, personally identifying information, computer malware and other products used to unlawfully enrich members and associates of the Infraud association", Dale Eliason, U.S. Attorney of Nevada, said in a call with reporters.

One advert posted on Infraud's online forum in 2011 claimed to have 795,000 log-ins for British customers of HSBC, the indictment says. Another eight have been detained in other countries including Australia, Italy, and Serbia, and await extradition to the US.

Rojas became a member in 2011 and shortly after was promoted to VIP Member status by the organisation's Ukrainian founder, Svyatoslav Bondarenko, according to the indictment.

"We discuss at length the structure of the organisation and the hierarchical organisation that it had in terms of administrators and vendors and other members like Okeakpu who were moderators of certain forums that were featured on the website". "As alleged in the indictment, Infraud operated like a business to facilitate cyberfraud on a global scale".

U.S. investigators estimate the site's members meant to cause $2.2 billion worth of damage, but actual losses amounted to over $530 million. Users could also use the site to advertise malware for sale.

The other defendants remain at large and the investigation is still ongoing, deputy assistant attorney General David Rybicki told reporters on a conference call.

The US official continued: "That makes this case one of the largest cyber fraud enterprise prosecutions ever undertaken by the Department of Justice".

The Infraud Organization, we're told, includes nearly 11,000 members, and was founded in 2010 by Svyatoslav Bondarkeno of Ukraine.

The City of London Police are credited alongside other global police forces for "siginificant efforts and timely cooperation".

  • Eleanor Harrison