Russia arrests leader of ‘Infraud Organization’ hacker group


Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) and law enforcement have arrested Andrey Sergeevich Novak, the alleged leader of the Infraud Organization, a hacker group that has caused losses of more than $560 million in seven years of activity.

The arrest was possible thanks to intelligence gathered by Russian special services and with the cooperation of US law enforcement.

The Infraud organization has been implicated in the acquisition and trade of stolen payment card data and identities from the Infraud card portal.

In 2018, an international law enforcement operation disrupted the organization and the US Department of Justice (DoJ) charged 36 suspects. Of these, 13 were arrested in various countries, including one of the portal’s administrators.

Law enforcement removes Infraud card portal

Four suspected members of Infraud detained

Last week, the FSB and Russian law enforcement arrested four people, including Andrey Novak, believed to be the founder of Infraud Organization operating under the pseudonyms “Unicc”, “Faaxxx” and “Faxtrod”.

Novak has been detained for two months while the investigation clarifies his role in the hacking group. The other three alleged members – Kirill Samokutyaev, Konstantin Vladimirovich Bergman and Mark Avramovich Bergman, have been placed under house arrest, according to the Russian News Agency. TASS reports.

The agency cites an undisclosed source as saying Novak is the suspected founder of the criminal group. A DoJ chart of the hierarchy within the Infraud organization, however, shows Novak listed as a vendor on the portal, well below the top echelon of administrators and super moderators.

Hierarchy of Fraudulent Organizations
Fraud hierarchy, source: DoJ

The investigation into Infraud’s activities is ongoing and continues to identify new members of the group. The list of arrests grew and some people pleaded guilty and received a sentence.

Infraud co-founder Sergey Medvedev (aka “Stells”, “segmed” and “serjbear”) admitted his role in the operation in June 2020 and on March 19, 2021, was sentenced to 10 years in jail for a count of racketeering conspiracy.

Another member of the group, Marko Leopard, aka “Leopardmk”, was sentenced to five years in prison for offering rock-solid hosting services to Infraud members.

Russia takes action against its cybercriminals

Russia seems to have started collaborating with the United States and taking active action against cybercriminals on its territory.

Earlier this month, the FSB announced that it had shut down the REvil ransomware gang, following reports from US authorities about the group’s leader. At least eight suspects were charged and held for two months.

These raids and arrests come after multiple warnings that the United States would take action against threat actors in Russia if the Russian government was unable or unwilling.

Russian citizens found guilty of cybercriminal activities will serve their sentence in Russia, even if they are wanted in other countries, because the country’s legislation prohibits their extradition.

However, non-Russian citizens will be extradited to a foreign state after investigation and legal proceedings in Russia.

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