Romanian Man Sentenced for Phishing Scheme

Written by Sue Walsh on June 17, 2013

internetcrimeA Romanian man was sentenced to 7 years in prison for his part in a phishing ring that preyed upon Connecticut residents. The U.S. Attorney’s Office announced last week that Dragos Nicolae Drashici, 28, was on his way to prison. Drashici, along with 12 defendants from countries all over the world including Canada, Bulgaria and Croatia, had been involved in a phishing ring from 2004 until at least 2010. The ring came to the attention of authorities in CT after a resident complained to them about an email they’d gotten. It informed them their online banking profile had been locked and directed them to click a link to unlock it.

The link led to a page that looked like the well-known local bank People’s bank, but was actually a malicious fake programmed to steal login info, credit card numbers, bank account numbers and other personal info and send them to Drashici in Romania. Authorities say he is a self-described hacker who spent years spamming, harvesting email addresses, and setting up malicious websites. Other companies exploited in his phishing scams included Citibank, Capital One, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Comerica Bank, Regions Bank, LaSalle Bank, U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo & Co., eBay and PayPal. Romanian officials have filed criminal charges against 19 other citizens in relation to those attacks.

Just how much of a profit Drashici made off of his crime spree hasn’t been disclosed and may not be known, but it was probably substantial. Millions of dollars are stolen by phishers each year and the amount of attacks, especially spear phishing ones, continues to rise as other forms of email spam decline in popularity and cybercriminals get better and betters at faking websites and emails.

Comments

Sheila June 25, 2013

This is good news. We’ve been hearing a lot of bad news for the longest time, so this is a nice change. Obviously the attacker is still immature as he targeted those that are within his area. Most of the phishing attacks are large and are done to hurt those outside their country of origin so they aren’t easy to trace.

Artess June 27, 2013

I hear you, Sheila. I think the same way as well. But then you know this is just a very small fish. In fact, it’s just a fry! I would love to hear a story about how a huge syndicate that operates in different parts of the world has now been controlled and diminished by the FBI and other concerned government and defense agencies. That should put a lot of fear on the cybercriminals.

Keith June 29, 2013

Now that’s what I call justice. I’m hoping to hear or read more stories about this one. I think phishing is a lot more dangerous than mere spamming because there’s really the intention of getting personal information from someone for malicious activities. Like what Artess said, though, we hope we get the bigger ones next time.

Martina June 30, 2013

Yes, Artess, this is just a very small fish, but it is quite a good start. At least we now know that the authorities can also be relied on for things like this. Sometimes, it is good to start in the simplest, smallest ways so that it will be easy to build up to a stronger and bigger attack. I agree with you, though, that it will even be bigger and better news if a really big and major spamming syndicate is caught in the act, captured and brought down. That will be definitely an entirely bigger fish to fry!

  • (required)
  • (required)