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Romanian Hacker Pleaded Guilty for Defrauding Over 7000 People

A federal court in Minneapolis, US, found a Romanian hacker, named Sergiu Daniel Popa, guilty for possessing more than 15 unauthorized access devices and aggravated identity theft. This 22-year-old hacker is currently facing 10 years of imprisonment following a theft of $700,000 (£413,000) through phishing e-mails.

As per the prosecutor, Popa cheated 7,000 internet users by sending fake e-mails in names of reputed financial services firms like Citibank and PayPal. The recipients of Popa's e-mails led to fraud Websites where they were asked to provide their valuable credentials such as names, PIN codes, addresses, bank accounts, credit card numbers.

Moreover, this hacker was allegedly involved in selling phishing kits with complete instructions on how to make fake credit cards. It may be noted that Spain had extradited Popa to the US in June 2008.

The US Attorney's Office for Minnesota stated that Popa maintained two e-mail accounts during June 2000-February 2007. He used those accounts to steal personal data and other sensitive financial credentials of online consumers by means of phishing.

Popa admitted that he had a motive to steal personal and important information like credit cards, PIN numbers and names of about 21 individuals. He also confessed that he had performed aggravated identity theft without having the legal authority.

According to the FBI, it started investigation in Popa case in January 2005 and charges were imposed against him in June 2007, before Spain extradited him to the US in June 2008.

Graham Cluley, Senior Technology Consultant at Sophos, said that the authorities have made commendable efforts in handling Popa's case and presenting him for a trial in the court. Further, he expressed his regret over the cyber crime that is still carried out by several other criminals who are trying to take benefit of the ignorant internet users by robbing them off their identities, as reported by PCAdvisor on October 10,2008.

Moreover, according to Graham Cluley, internet users should make sure that they are fully protected from such phishing attacks, and should be cautious enough while responding to the emails asking for their financial information, as reported by ComputerWeekly on October 10, 2008.

Related article: Romanian Hacker Haunting ebay

» SPAMfighter News - 10/18/2008

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