Three charged in historic email data breach

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  1. K800

    K800 Nobody's Fool

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    Law enforcement officials unveiled charges Friday against three individuals who allegedly participated in one of U.S. history’s largest data breaches.

    The Department of Justice issued an indictment naming three individuals — two Vietnamese citizens, one Canadian — for their role in a massive scheme to steal email addresses and cash in on online spam campaigns.

    “This case reflects the cutting-edge problems posed by today’s cybercrime cases, where the hackers didn’t target just a single company; they infiltrated most of the country’s email distribution firms,” said acting U.S. Attorney John A. Horn.

    “And the scope of the intrusion is unnerving, in that the hackers didn’t stop after stealing the companies’ proprietary data — they then hijacked the companies’ own distribution platforms to send out bulk emails and reaped the profits from email traffic directed to specific websites.”

    The scheme allegedly took place between 2009 and 2012. Viet Quoc Nguyen, one of the individuals named in the indictment, is accused of hacking U.S. email service providers and stealing data that included more than a billion email addresses. The service providers were not named.

    Nguyen and an accomplice, Giang Hoang Vu, are charged with using the data to send spam emails to tens of millions of people directing them to products marketed online.

    The two men apparently profited from the effort through an agreement with David-Manuel Santos Da Silva, a Canadian businessman, who ran the website Marketbay.com to which users were directed.

    Nguyen and Da Silva made approximately $2 million on the sale of products between May 2009 and October 2011, according to the indictment.

    “Those individuals who line their pockets with money gained through deceiving others should know they will not go undetected and will be held accountable,” said Special Agent in Charge Veronica F. Hyman-Pillot of the IRS Criminal Investigation Division.

    Of the three individuals, only Nguyen remains at large.

    Vu was arrested in the Netherlands in 2012, extradited to the United States this month, and is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Timothy C. Batten Sr. on April 21. He has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit computer fraud.

    Da Silva was arrested in February at Ft. Lauderdale International Airport and was scheduled to be arraigned on Friday in Atlanta.

    U.S. law enforcement is eager to prove it is cracking down on cyber crime as the threat from hackers explodes for individuals and businesses.

    06.03.2015
    http://thehill.com/policy/cybersecurity/234893-three-charged-in-historic-email-data-breach
     
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