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Ukrainian Hacker Jailed

A Ukrainian man has been sentenced to four years in a US federal prison for selling on a dark-web marketplace stolen login credentials for more than 6,700 compromised servers.

Glib Oleksandr Ivanov-Tolpintsev, 28, was arrested by Polish authorities in Korczowa, Poland, on October 3, 2020, and extradited to America. He pleaded guilty on February 22, and was sentenced on Thursday in a Florida federal district court. The court also ordered Ivanov-Tolpintsev, of Chernivtsi, Ukraine, to forfeit his ill-gotten gains of $82,648 from the credential theft scheme.

The prosecution’s documents [PDF] detail an unnamed, dark-web marketplace on which usernames and passwords along with personal data, including more than 330,000 dates of birth and social security numbers belonging to US residents, were bought and sold illegally.

This marketplace traded details on more than 700,000 “compromised servers,” according to prosecutors, including at least 150,000 in the US and 8,000 in Florida. After criminals bought credentials for these systems, they used them for all sorts of illicit activities including tax fraud and ransomware attacks, according to the Feds. 

“The victims spanned the globe and industries, including local, state, and federal government infrastructure, hospitals, 911 and emergency services, call centers, major metropolitan transit authorities, accounting and law firms, pension funds and universities,” according to the plea agreement. “No legitimate business was conducted on the Marketplace.”

While it’s only referred to as “the Marketplace,” the documents say that in late January 2019, US law enforcement agencies seized the online souk’s domain names and dismantled its infrastructure, effectively shutting it down.  

The timing of this coincides with the takedown of xDedic Marketplace, which sold details of compromised computers and personally identifiable information of US residents.

Ivanov-Tolpintsev controlled a botnet and used brute-forcing malware, which he “boasted” could crack login credentials of at least 2,000 computers every week, according to the court documents. 

Between January 2017 and January 2019, he sold these stolen credentials on the marketplace. The court records say he listed details for about 6,700 servers for sale during this time, and buyers paid at least $82,648 for these compromised login creds.

Ivanov-Tolpintsev’s sentencing follows several other moves by law enforcement to shut down dark-web activity. 

In April, German federal police in coordination with US law enforcement seized Hydra servers and cryptocurrency wallets containing $25 million in Bitcoin, thus shutting down the  longest-running known souk. 

That same month the US Justice Department revealed details of a court-authorized take-down of command-and-control systems the Kremlin-backed Sandworm cyber-crime ring used to direct network devices infected by its Cyclops Blink malware.

The Feds have also offered up to $10 million for vital information on each of six Russian GRU officers linked to the Sandworm gang, who, according to Uncle Sam, have plotted to carry out destructive cyber-attacks against American critical infrastructure.

Sources:

Jessica Lyons Hardcastle, The Register | Security

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