“Extradition Blocked for Latvian Malware Suspect”

August 8, 2013

The Wall Street Journal on August 8, 2013 released the following:

“European Human Rights Court Says Extradition Should Be Delayed for Duration of Proceedings

By JURIS KAŽA

RIGA, Latvia—The European Human Rights Court has blocked Latvia’s decision to allow the extradition of 27-year-old Deniss Calovskis to the U.S., two days after the Latvian government narrowly approved extradition to stand trial on several charges of conspiracy to commit computer and bank fraud in his alleged role in facilitating the Gozi virus.

Saulvedis Varpins, the attorney for Mr. Calovskis, said Thursday that he received a letter by fax from the EHRC saying extradition should be delayed for the duration of proceedings before the court. The letter was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

Mr. Calovskis is charged by U.S. authorities with helping to spread malware that infected thousands of computers and was allegedly used to facilitate the theft of millions of dollars. In recent interviews with Latvian media, Mr. Calovskis denied the charges and said he didn’t possess the programming expertise to do what the U.S. indictment alleged.

A slim majority of Latvia’s cabinet ministers approved his extradition Tuesday after determining he could receive a fair trial in the U.S., but Mr. Varpins raised an objection with the EHRC, saying the case is based on insufficient evidence and allegations made by an alleged co-conspirator while in U.S. custody.

Mr. Varpins said it could take “a couple of months” for the EHRC to resolve the issue since the petition he filed alleged procedural violations in the arrest of Mr. Calovskis, his detention and decisions by various Latvian courts and authorities.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
International Extradition Lawyers Videos:

International Extradition – When the FBI Seeks Extradition

International Extradition – Wire Transfer – Email – Telephone Call

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We previously discussed the extradition treaty between the United States and Latvia here.

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To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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Hamza Bendelladj Extradited from Thailand to Face the Alleged Federal Cyber Crime Charges in Atlanta for SpyEye Virus

May 3, 2013

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on May 3, 2013 released the following:

Algerian National Extradited from Thailand to Face Federal Cyber Crime Charges in Atlanta for SpyEye Virus

“ATLANTA— Hamza Bendelladj, an Algerian national also known as Bx1, will be arraigned on federal cyber crime charges for his role in developing, marketing, distributing, and operating the malicious computer virus SpyEye.

“No violence or coercion was used to accomplish this scheme, just a computer and an Internet connection,” said United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates. “Bendelladj’s alleged criminal reach extended across international borders, directly into victims’ homes. In a cyber netherworld, he allegedly commercialized the wholesale theft of financial and personal information through this virus which he sold to other cyber criminals. Cyber criminals, take note—we will find you. This arrest and extradition demonstrates our determination to bring you to justice.”

“Hamza Bendelladj has been extradited to the United States to face charges of controlling and selling a nefarious computer virus designed to pry into computers and extract personal financial information,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman. “The indictment charges Bendelladj and his co-conspirators with operating servers designed to control the personal computers of unsuspecting individuals and aggressively marketing their virus to other international cybercriminals intent on stealing sensitive information. The extradition of Bendelladj to face charges in the United States demonstrates our steadfast determination to bring cyber criminals to justice, no matter where they operate.”

“The FBI has expanded its international partnerships to allow for such extraditions of criminals who know no borders,” stated Mark F. Giuliano, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Atlanta Field Office. “The federal indictment and extradition of Bendelladj should send a very clear message to those international cyber criminals who feel safe behind their computers in foreign lands that they are, in fact, within reach.”

Bendelladj, 24, was indicted by a federal grand jury in Atlanta, Georgia on December 20, 2011. The 23-count indictment charges him with one count of conspiring to commit wire and bank fraud, 10 counts of wire fraud, one count of conspiracy to commit computer fraud, and 11 counts of computer fraud. Bendelladj was apprehended at Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok, Thailand, on January 5, 2013, while he was in transit from Malaysia to Egypt. The indictment was unsealed on May 1, 2013. Bendelladj was extradited from Thailand to the United States on May 2, 2013, and was arraigned in United States District Court before United States Magistrate Judge Janet F. King.

According to court documents, the SpyEye virus is malicious computer code, or malware, which is designed to automate the theft of confidential personal and financial information, such as online banking credentials, credit card information, usernames, passwords, PINs, and other personally identifying information. The SpyEye virus facilitates this theft of information by secretly infecting victims’ computers, enabling cyber criminals to remotely control the computers through command and control (C&C) servers. Once a computer is infected and under the cyber criminals’ control, a victim’s personal and financial information can be surreptitiously collected using techniques such as “web injects,” which allow cyber criminals to alter the display of webpages in the victim’s browser in order to trick them into divulging personal information related to their financial accounts. The financial data is then transmitted to the cyber criminals’ C&C servers, where criminals use it to steal money from the victims’ financial accounts.

The indictment alleges that from 2009 to 2011, Bendelladj and others developed, marketed, and sold various versions of the SpyEye virus and component parts on the Internet and allowed cyber criminals to customize their purchases to include tailor-made methods of obtaining victims’ personal and financial information. Bendelladj allegedly advertised the SpyEye virus on Internet forums devoted to cyber crime and other criminal activities. In addition, Bendelladj allegedly operated C&C servers, including a server located in the Northern District of Georgia, which controlled computers infected with the SpyEye virus. One of the files on Bendelladj’s C&C server in the Northern District of Georgia allegedly contained information from approximately 253 unique financial institutions.

If convicted, Bendelladj faces a maximum sentence of up to 30 years in prison for conspiracy to commit wire and bank fraud; up to 20 years for each wire fraud count; up to five years for conspiracy to commit computer fraud; up to five or 10 years for each count of computer fraud; and fines of up to $14 million.

Members of the public are reminded that the indictment contains only allegations. A defendant is presumed innocent of the charges, and it will be the government’s burden to prove a defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.

This case is being investigated by special agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Special Assistant United States Attorney Nicholas Oldham and Assistant United States Attorney Scott Ferber of the Northern District of Georgia and Trial Attorney Carol Sipperly of the Criminal Division’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section are prosecuting the case. Valuable assistance was provided by the Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs, which worked with its international counterparts to effect the extradition.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
International Extradition Lawyers Videos:

International Extradition – When the FBI Seeks Extradition

International Extradition – Wire Transfer – Email – Telephone Call

————————————————————–

We previously discussed the extradition treaty between the United States and Thailand here.

————————————————————–

To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

————————————————————–

International criminal defense questions, but want to be anonymous?

Free Skype Tel: +1.202.470.3427, OR

Free Skype call:

           Office Locations

Email:


U.S. Extradites International Hacker; More Extraditions to Follow

August 9, 2010

In November 2008, a group of international hackers allegedly infiltrated the computer network of a major financial services company in what authorities describe as one of the most sophisticated attacks ever concocted.

Around the time Barack Obama was securing his White House win, the hackers allegedly entered RBS WorldPay servers, accessed prepaid payroll card numbers, cracked their encrypted PIN codes, raised the balances on the cards and distributed dozens of them to a team of people around the world.

It is further alleged that in the span of 12 hours around Nov. 8 of that year, the group hit 2,100 ATM terminals in 280 cities spanning the world, from the United States to Russia to Italy to Japan. Prosecutors say they withdrew $9 million — a haul that rivals 1,000 typical bank robberies in the United States.

Despite the technical and international challenges of the case, U.S. investigators believe they were able to trace the scheme back to its origin. On Friday they brought one of the accused ringleaders from Estonia to Atlanta to face arraignment on several fraud charges — a rare appearance in U.S. courts for an accused international hacker.

Sergei Tsurikov, 26, of Tallinn, Estonia, pleaded not guilty at his arraignment to conspiracy to commit computer fraud, computer fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.

With such an increasing need for cyber defenses, the FBI has ramped up its focus, training some 900 agents in how to handle such crimes. In the RBS case, they sent a group of FBI experts to Atlanta, where RBS is based, to investigate.

While U.S. authorities have been able to crack down on cyber crimes originating in the United states, the FBI has had to increasingly rely on foreign partners to restrict attacks coming from overseas, in places like Egypt, Turkey and Hong Kong. Estonia assisted in both the investigation and extradition in the hacker case.

Tsurikov was indicted last year in the case along with Viktor Pleshchuk of St. Petersburg, Russia, Covelin of Chisinau, Moldova, and three others from Estonia. The three leading suspects have been convicted in Estonia. In the United States they face up to 20 years in prison for wire fraud charges and between 5 and 10 years for computer fraud charges.

Tsurikov is the first to face his U.S. charges. Officials said extradition of the others is in progress.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, Interpol Litigation, International Extradition and OFAC Litigation.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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