The Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section (CCIPS) is responsible for implementing the Department's national strategies in combating computer and intellectual property crimes worldwide. The Computer Crime Initiative is a comprehensive program designed to combat electronic penetrations, data thefts, and cyberattacks on critical information systems. CCIPS prevents, investigates, and prosecutes computer crimes by working with other government agencies, the private sector, academic institutions, and foreign counterparts. Section attorneys work to improve the domestic and international infrastructure-legal, technological, and operational-to pursue network criminals most effectively. The Section's enforcement responsibilities against intellectual property crimes are similarly multi-faceted. Intellectual Property (IP) has become one of the principal U.S. economic engines, and the nation is a target of choice for thieves of material protected by copyright, trademark, or trade-secret designation. In pursuing all these goals, CCIPS attorneys regularly run complex investigations, resolve unique legal and investigative issues raised by emerging computer and telecommunications technologies; litigate cases; provide litigation support to other prosecutors; train federal, state, and local law enforcement personnel; comment on and propose legislation; and initiate and participate in international efforts to combat computer and intellectual property crime.
U.S. Department of Justice
10th & Constitution Ave., NW
Criminal Division, (Computer Crime & Intellectual Property Section)
John C. Keeney Building, Suite 600
Washington, DC 20530
Tel (202) 514-1026
Fax (202) 514-6113
Media Inquiries: Office of Public Affairs (202) 514-2007
Reporting Computer, Internet-Related, or Intellectual Property Crime
Internet-related crime, like any other crime, should be reported to appropriate law enforcement investigative authorities at the local, state, federal, or international levels, depending on the scope of the crime. Citizens who are aware of federal crimes should report them to local offices of federal law enforcement.
The primary federal law enforcement agencies that investigate domestic crime on the Internet include: the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the United States Secret Service, the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) , the United States Postal Inspection Service, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) . Each of these agencies has offices conveniently located in every state to which crimes may be reported. Contact information regarding these local offices may be found in local telephone directories. In general, federal crime may be reported to the local office of an appropriate law enforcement agency by a telephone call and by requesting the "Duty Complaint Agent."
Each law enforcement agency also has a headquarters (HQ) in Washington, D.C., which has agents who specialize in particular areas. For example, the FBI and the U.S. Secret Service both have headquarters-based specialists in computer intrusion (i.e., computer hacker) cases.
To determine some of the federal investigative law enforcement agencies that may be appropriate for reporting certain kinds of crime, please refer to the following table:
Type of Crime Appropriate federal investigative law enforcement agencies Computer intrusion (i.e. hacking)
Type of Crime Appropriate federal investigative law enforcement agencies Copyright piracy (e.g., software, movie, sound recordings)
Welcome to IC3
The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) is a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C), and the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA).
IC3's mission is to serve as a vehicle to receive, develop, and refer criminal complaints regarding the rapidly expanding arena of cyber crime. The IC3 gives the victims of cyber crime a convenient and easy-to-use reporting mechanism that alerts authorities of suspected criminal or civil violations. For law enforcement and regulatory agencies at the federal, state, local and international level, IC3 provides a central referral mechanism for complaints involving Internet related crimes. read more >>
Filing a Complaint with IC3 IC3 accepts online Internet crime complaints from either the person who believes they were defrauded or from a third party to the complainant. We can best process your complaint if we receive accurate and complete information from you. Therefore, we request that you provide the following information when filing a complaint:
FBI Fraud Flyer
FRAUDULENT SPAM E-MAILS CLAIMING TO BE FROM THE U.S. SECRET SERVICE
(4/1/08, Washington, D.C.) -- We have become aware of a bogus spam e-mail claiming to be from the United States Secret Service. This scam appears to be a typical Advance Fee Fraud. The scam alleges that "You are among those whose fund will be repartraited [sic] from Africa."
THIS E-MAIL IS A HOAX. DO NOT RESPOND.
The e-mail claims to be from the Secret Service's Financial Crimes Division. The e-mail/fax contains numerous typographical errors and the Secret Service would never ask for personal financial information via e-mail, phone or fax.
(1/26/07, Washington, D.C.) -- We have become aware of a bogus spam e-mail/fax claiming to be from the United States Secret Service. This scam appears to be a typical Advance Fee Fraud. The scam alleges that recipients "have a transaction going on right now in Nigeria totaling $8.3M as a beneficiary of contract/inheritance payment."
THIS E-MAIL IS A HOAX. DO NOT RESPOND.
The e-mail claims to be from the Secret Service's Office of Government & Public Affairs. To make the message look more legitimate, information is pasted in the e-mail from the Secret Service web site. It advises recipients that they are the beneficiary of a large sum of money and that they can claim the money by providing personal information to include banking information. The e-mail/fax contains numerous typographical errors and the Secret Service would never ask for personal financial information via e-mail, phone or fax.
If you have received an e-mail or fax from someone you do not know requesting your assistance in a financial transaction, such as the transfer of a large sum of money into an account, or claiming you are the next of kin to an wealthy person who has died, or the winner of some obscure lottery, DO NOT respond. These requests are typically sent through public servers via a generic "spammed" e-mail message. Usually, the sender does not yet know your personal e-mail address and is depending on you to respond. Once you reply, even to tell them you are not interested, they will often continue to e-mail you in an attempt to harass or intimidate you. If you receive an unsolicited e-mail of this nature, the best course is to simply delete the message. The Federal Trade Commission's web site has a mechanism for reporting unsolicited commercial e-mail (spam) at http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/edcams/spam/report.html.
Electronic Crimes Task Forces and Working Groups
On October 26, 2001, President Bush signed into law H.R. 3162, the USA PATRIOT Act. The U.S. Secret Service was mandated by this Act to establish a nationwide network of Electronic Crimes Task Forces (ECTFs). The concept of the ECTF network is to bring together not only federal, state and local law enforcement, but also prosecutors, private industry and academia. The common purpose is the prevention, detection, mitigation and aggressive investigation of attacks on the nation's financial and critical infrastructures.
The Secret Service's ECTF and Electronic Crimes Working Group initiatives prioritize investigative cases that involve electronic crimes. These initiatives provide necessary support and resources to field investigations that meet any one of the following criteria:
New York/New Jersey
We encourage you to "SEARCH" our website or visit our Frequently Asked Questions page for answers to your questions. Due to the large volume of e-mail we receive, we cannot guarantee a response to your inquiry.
Time-sensitive or critical information should NOT be sent via email. Please contact your nearest field office by telephone if you need immediate assistance.
Recruitment and Hiring
U.S. Secret Service
Recruitment and Hiring Coordination Center (RHCC)
245 Murray Drive,
Washington, DC 20223
E-mail the RHCC Public Affairs
U.S. Secret Service
Office of Government and Public Affairs
245 Murray Drive,
Washington, DC 20223
E-mail Public Affairs
Procurement (for vendors)
U.S. Secret Service
245 Murray Drive,
Washington, DC 20223
202-406-6940 Field Offices
Find the nearest field office in your state.
Cyberethics Web Sites
There are numerous sites where Internet Safety, Security and Responsibility issues are addressed. A list of some of these sites that provide comprehensive information, teaching tools and activities for children are accessible via the link below. The list is provided as an educational and research resource only. The material reached through the links does not represent the opinions or the positions of the Department of Justice.
We are interested in hearing from organizations and individuals that have programs related to cyberethics and cybercitizenship! If you have a program, please send us a letter or fax with a description of your organization and how we can learn more about your efforts. We can be reached at U.S. Department of Justice, 10th & Constitution Ave., NW, (Cyberethics, Computer Crime & Intellectual Property Section), John C. Keeney Building, Suite 600, Washington, D.C. 20530. Fax (202) 514-6113.
<LI id=ISSRb>Internet Security
(Sponsored by the National Cyber Security Alliance, this site offers cyber security information, a self-guided security test, educational materials and Internet resources.)
Consumer Information Security
(The Federal Trade Commission provides information for consumers and businesses on computer security and safeguarding personal information, including a link to a "Consumer Information Security" video, a fact sheet on "How to Stay Safe Online if you Use High-Speed Internet Access," and a "Safe Cyber Surfer" quiz and other "fun stuff" for kids.)
CERIAS / Purdue University
(This university center offers information on computer, network and communications security educational programs and events: seminars, free teacher workshops, continuing education, scholarship programs, Masters degree and K-12 resources.)
Computer Security Resource Center - CSRC
(The Computer Security Division (CSD) is one of eight divisions within the National Institute of Standard and Technology's Information Technology Laboratory that works to improve the security of information systems. The CSD's Computer Security Resource Center (CSRC) site provides news, services and guidance to the user, vendors and the federal community on securing IT planning, implementation, managment and operation.)
Protect your personal information. It's valuable.
Know who you're dealing with online.
Use anti-virus software, a firewall, and anti-spyware software to help keep your computer safe and secure.
Be sure to set up your operating system and Web browser software properly, and update them regularly.
Use strong passwords or strong authentication technology to help protect your personal information.
Back up important files.
Learn what to do if something goes wrong.
Protect your children online.
Eight Cyber Security Practices to Stay Safe Online
The widespread availability of computers and connections to the Internet provides everyone with 24/7 access to information, credit and financial services, and shopping. The Internet is also an incredible tool for educators and students to communicate and learn.
Unfortunately, some individuals exploit the Internet through criminal behavior and other harmful acts. Criminals can try to gain unauthorized access to your computer and then use that access to steal your identity, commit fraud, or even launch cyber attacks against others. By following the recommended cyber security practices outlined here, you can limit the harm cyber criminals can do not only to your computer, but to everyone's computer.
However, there is no single cyber security practice or technological solution that will prevent online crime. These recommended cyber security practices highlight that using a set of practices that include Internet habits as well as technology solutions can make a difference.
The National Cyber Security Alliance's Top Eight Cyber Security Practices are practical steps you can take to stay safe online and avoid becoming a victim of fraud, identity theft, or cyber crime.
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United States Attorney's Office
Northern District of Florida
March 6, 2008
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Managing Assistant U.S. Attorney Dixie A. Morrow
INTERNATIONAL COMPUTER “HACKER” CONVICTED IN FEDERAL
, Florida - Gregory R. Miller, United States Attorney for the Northern District
of Florida, announced today the guilty pleas of Robert Matthew Bentley, 21, Panama
City, Florida, to conspiracy to commit computer fraud and computer fraud.
Bentley was indicted by a federal grand jury in Pensacola, Florida in November 2007.
The case originated in December 2006 when the London Metropolitan Police (“The
Met”) Computer Crime Unit requested assistance from the United States Secret Service
after European representatives of the United States-based “Newell Rubbermaid”
Corporation and at least one other European-based company contacted The Met to report
a computer intrusion against the companies’ European networks. The indictment resulted
from a multi-year criminal investigation by the United States Secret Service, primarily
involving the London (England) Resident Office, the Paris (France) Field Office, the
Philadelphia (Pennsylvania) Field Office, the Seattle (Washington) Field Office, the
Jacksonville (Florida) Field Office, the Tallahassee (Florida) Resident Office, the Panama
City (Florida) Field Office, the Santa Ana (California) Resident Office, the Los Angeles
(California) Field Office, the Wilmington (Delaware) Field Office, and the CERT
Coordination Center at Carnegie Mellon (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania). Secret Service
worked the investigation together with the Finland National Bureau of Investigation, the
London Metropolitan Police, the Westminster (California) Police Department, and the
Federal Bureau of Investigation Philadelphia (Pennsylvania) Field Office.
Bentley agreed to a detailed factual summary filed at the time of his guilty plea outlining
his role in the computer intrusions. Bentley and other unnamed co-conspirators infected
hundreds of computers in Europe with “adware” that cost tens of thousands of dollars to
detect and neutralize. Bentley and others received payment through a Western Europeanbased
operation called “Dollar Revenue” for unauthorized intrusions and placement of
the adware. Bentley used computers in the Northern District of Florida to accomplish the
intrusions and to receive payment.
United States Attorney Miller observed, “The identification, indictment, and conviction
of Bentley constitutes a significant success in a complex international investigation, and
resulted from the outstanding cooperation of the many participating law enforcement
agencies. The use of “botnets” - a series of computers covertly controlled by Bentley and
his co-conspirators to accomplish the intrusion of victim computer systems - is a major
focus of computer-related criminal investigations worldwide. Botnets are responsible for
much of the malicious activity conducted on the internet. “Botherders” or “Botmasters”
operate within a group of computer hackers on a global scale, making this computer
crime one of the most pervasive forms of organized criminal activity plaguing law
enforcers in this country and abroad.”
Bentley is scheduled to be sentenced by United States District Judge Richard Smoak on
May 28, 2008. He faces a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment, a $250,000 fine,
and 3 years of supervised release for each charge. He must pay a special monetary
assessment of $100 for each charge.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Thomas P. (Tom)
Swaim of the Pensacola Division.
OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY
WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
JOHN F. WOOD
Contact Don Ledford, Public Affairs
● (816) 426-4220 ● 400 East Ninth Street, Room 5510 ● Kansas City, MO 64106
MARCH 4, 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
KC MAN SENTENCED FOR COMPUTER HACKING
KANSAS CITY, Mo. –
John F. Wood, United States Attorney for the Western
District of Missouri, announced that a Kansas City, Mo., man was sentenced in federal
court today for hacking into his former employer’s computer network.
Harold James Boomer
, 24, of Kansas City was sentenced by U.S. District Judge
Dean Whipple this morning to 10 months in federal prison without parole. Boomer has
paid $24,000 in restitution to Midwest Technology Connections ( MTC).
On Aug. 13, 2007, Boomer pleaded guilty to unauthorized computer intrusion.
admitted that he hacked into the computer network of MTC, where he had been
employed as the lead network engineer before leaving the firm in June 2006 to start his
own computer security company, Brickwall Security. During his last day at MTC,
created an administrator user name that was set up to give him complete
administrative access to the network, and to monitor the e-mail accounts of key MTC
employees. Boomer also admitted that he placed hacking software on MTC’s systems,
and that he had access to all of MTC’s customers’ data.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Curt Bohling. It was
investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
This news release, as well as additional information about the office of the United StatesAttorney for the Western District of Missouri, is available on-line at
United States Attorney's Office District of
May 19, 2008 38 INDIVIDUALS IN U.S. AND ROMANIA CHARGED IN
TWO RELATED CASES OF COMPUTER FRAUD
INVOLVING INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZED CRIME
International Law Enforcement Cooperation Leads to Disruption of
Organized Crime Ring Operating in U.S. and Romania
BUCHAREST, ROMANIA – Thirty-eight individuals with ties to
international organized crime have been charged in two separate
indictments involving computer and credit card fraud schemes,
Deputy Attorney General Mark R. Filip, Romanian Prosecutor
General Laura Codru
ţa Kövesi, U.S. Attorney for the Central District
of California Thomas P. O’Brien and Acting U.S. Attorney for the
District of Connecticut Nora R. Dannehy announced today. The
Deputy Attorney General made the announcement with the Romanian
Prosecutor General to highlight the extensive and continued
cooperation between the two countries in addressing these types of
international crimes. The announcement comes less than one month
after U.S. Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey announced the
Department’s new Law Enforcement Strategy to Combat
International Organized Crime.
“International organized crime poses a serious threat not only to the
United States and Romania, but to all nations,” said Deputy Attorney
General Mark R. Filip. “Criminals who exploit the power and
convenience of the Internet do not recognize national borders;
therefore our efforts to prevent their attacks cannot end at our borders
either. Through cooperation with our international partners, we can
disrupt and dismantle these enterprises, just as we have done today
with these indictments and arrests.”
A federal grand jury in Los Angeles charged 33 individuals in a 65-
count indictment unsealed today for their alleged participation in an
international racketeering scheme that used the Internet to defraud
thousands of individual victims and hundreds of financial
institutions. Seven individuals were charged in a District of
Connecticut indictment for their roles in an Internet phishing scheme,
including two who were also charged in the Los Angeles case.
U.S. law enforcement authorities are executing nine arrest warrants in
the Los Angeles area and Romanian law enforcement authorities are
executing search warrants in Romania today in connection with the
As described in the indictments and other publicly filed documents, a
"phishing" scheme uses the Internet to target large numbers of
unwary individuals, using fraud and deceit to obtain private personal
and financial information such as names, addresses, bank account
numbers, credit card numbers and Social Security numbers. Phishing
schemes often work by sending out large numbers of counterfeit email
messages, which are made to appear as if they originated from
legitimate banks, financial institutions or other companies.
The Los Angeles indictment alleges a conspiracy to violate the RICO
Act; conspiracy in connection with access devices; production, use
and trafficking in counterfeit access devices; bank fraud; aggravated
identity theft; unauthorized access to a protected computer;
possession of device making equipment; and a forfeiture allegation.
The RICO conspiracy charge carries a maximum prison sentence of
20 years. The count of access device fraud conspiracy carries a
maximum sentence of seven and a half years in prison; the charge of
production, use and trafficking in counterfeit access devices carries a
maximum 10 year prison sentence; and possession of device making
equipment carries a 15 year maximum prison sentence. The charge
of bank fraud carries a maximum 30 year prison sentence. The
unauthorized access count carries a maximum prison sentence of five
years, and aggravated identify theft carries a mandatory two year
prison sentence. All charges except aggravated identity theft also
contain provisions for fines and terms of supervised release.
According to the indictment, the Romania-based members of the
enterprise obtained thousands of credit and debit card accounts and
related personal information by phishing, with more than 1.3 million
spam emails sent in one phishing attack. Once directed to a bogus
site, victims were then prompted at those sites to enter access device
and personal information. The Romanian “suppliers” collected the
victims’ information and sent the data to U.S.-based “cashiers” via
Internet “chat” messages. The domestic cashiers used hardware
called encoders to record the fraudulently obtained information onto
the magnetic strips on the back of credit and debit cards, and similar
cards such as hotel keys. Cashiers then directed “runners” to test the
fraudulent cards by checking balances or withdrawing small amounts
of money at ATMs. The cards that were successfully tested, known
as “cashable” cards, were used to withdraw money from ATMs or
point of sale terminals that the cashiers had determined permitted the
highest withdrawal limits. A portion of the proceeds was then wire
transferred to the supplier who had provided the access device
“Partnerships and cooperation among all levels of law enforcement –
both domestic and foreign – are the keys to tackling criminal activity
that increasingly knows no borders,” said U.S. Attorney for the
Central District of California Thomas P. O’Brien. “Just as street
gangs don’t respect municipal borders, computer criminals can reach
into other countries and prey upon unsuspecting victims who have no
idea their identities and money are going to another country.”
The individuals named in the indictment operated from locations in
the United States and abroad including Canada, Pakistan, Portugal
and Romania, and include both U.S. citizens and foreign nationals.
Sonny Duc Vo, Alex Chung Luong and Leonard Gonzales are U.S.
citizens. Nga Ngo, Thai Hoang Nguyen, Loi Tan Dang and Dung
Phan are permanent legal residents of Vietnam. Hiep Thanh Tran is a
U.S. permanent resident from Vietnam. Caroline Tath is a permanent
legal resident of Cambodia. Hassan Parvez is a citizen of Pakistan.
Rolando Soriano is a Mexican citizen and is currently charged in Los
Angeles with illegal entry by an alien following deportation. Ovidiu-
Ionut Nicola-Roman; Petru Bogdan Belbita; Stefan Sorin Ilinca;
Sorin Alin Panait; Costel Bulugea; Nicolae Dragos Draghici; Florin
Georgel Spiru; Marian Daniel Ciulean; Irinel Nicusor Stancu; Didi
Gabriel Constantin; Mihai Draghici; Marius Sorin Tomescu; Lucian
Zamfirache; Laurentiu Cristian Busca; Dan Ionescu; Marius Lnu;
Alex Gabriel Paralescu; and Andreea Nicoleta Stancuta are
Romanian citizens. An additional four individuals known only by
their aliases, “Cryptmaster”; “PaulXSS”; “euro_pin_atm” and
“SeleQtor” are believed to be Romanian citizens.
Seuong Wook Lee, a cashier in the scheme, pleaded guilty on May
15, 2008, in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles to racketeering
conspiracy, bank fraud, access device fraud and unauthorized access
of a protected computer.
In a related case, seven Romanian citizens were charged in an
indictment returned by a federal grand jury in New Haven, Conn., on
Jan. 18, 2007, and unsealed on May 16, 2008, in connection with an
Internet phishing scheme. The indictment alleges conspiracy to
commit fraud in connection with access devices, conspiracy to
commit bank fraud and aggravated identity theft.
The investigation in the District of Connecticut resulted from a
citizen’s complaint concerning a fraudulent e-mail message made to
appear as if it originated from Connecticut-based People’s Bank. In
fact, the e-mail message directed victims to a computer in Minnesota
that had been compromised, or “hacked,” and used to host a
counterfeit People’s Bank Internet site. During the course of the
investigation, it was determined that the individuals had engaged in
similar phishing schemes against many other financial institutions
and companies, including Citibank, Capital One, JPMorgan Chase &
Co., Comerica Bank, Wells Fargo & Co., eBay and PayPal.
“This case shows that Internet fraudsters cannot avoid prosecution
just by launching their attacks against U.S. residents and U.S.
companies from overseas,” said Acting U.S. Attorney for the District
of Connecticut Nora R. Dannehy. “With the help of our law
enforcement partners around the world, we will investigate and
prosecute fraudsters wherever they can be found.”
“We will continue to work closely with our foreign and domestic law
enforcement partners and employ the investigative tools available to
bring organized criminals to justice,” said FBI Deputy Director John
S. Pistole. “The recent cooperation and information sharing with our
Romanian law enforcement partners and allies at the Southeast
European Cooperative Initiative has been invaluable. Despite being
separated by oceans, we are united in the fight against organized
The individuals named in the District of Connecticut indictment are
Ciprian Dumitru Tudor, Ovidiu-Ionut Nicola-Roman, Mihai Cristian
Dumitru and Petru Bogdan Belbita, all residents of Craiova,
Romania; and Radu Mihai Dobrica, Cornel Ionut Tonita and Cristian
Navodaru, all residents of Galati, Romania. Nicola-Roman was
located in Bulgaria and arrested on an Interpol warrant on June 6,
2007. He was extradited to the United States on Nov. 8, 2007.
Nicola-Roman and Belbita are also charged in the Los Angeles case.
If convicted, each of the individuals in the District of Connecticut
case faces a maximum term of five years in prison on each
conspiracy charge, and a mandatory term of two years in prison on
the aggravated identify theft charge. In addition, each of the
individuals is subject to a maximum fine of $250,000 on each count,
or twice the gain resulting from the offense, whichever is greater.
The individuals also may be sentenced to a maximum term of three
years supervised release on each charge.
On April 23, 2008, Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey announced
the Law Enforcement Strategy to Combat International Organized
Crime to address the growing threat to U.S. security and stability
posed by international organized crime. The strategy was developed
following an October 2007 International Organized Crime Threat
The strategy specifically reacts to the globalization of legal and
illegal business, advances in technology, particularly the Internet, and
the evolution of symbiotic relationships between criminals, public
officials and business leaders that have combined to create a new,
less restrictive environment within which international organized
criminals can operate. Without the necessity of a physical presence,
U.S. law enforcement must combat international organized criminals
that target the relative wealth of the people and institutions in the
United States while remaining outside the country. Ultimately, the
strategy aims to create consensus among domestic law enforcement
in identifying the most significant priority targets and then unified
and concerted action among domestic and international law
enforcement in significantly disrupting and dismantling those targets.
International organized crime is defined as those self-perpetuating
associations of individuals who operate internationally for the
purpose of obtaining power, influence, monetary and commercial
gains, wholly or in part by illegal means, while protecting their
activities through a pattern of corruption and violence. International
organized criminals operate in hierarchies, clans, networks and cells.
The crimes they commit vary as widely as the organizational
structures they employ.
An indictment is a formal charging document notifying the defendant
of his/her charges. All persons charged in an indictment are
presumed innocent until proven guilty.
The Los Angeles case is the result of a joint investigation involving
the FBI, the Romanian General Inspectorate of Police, the U.S. Postal
Service, the Internal Revenue Service and local law enforcement
agencies including the Seal Beach, Costa Mesa, Huntington Beach,
Irvine, Westminster and Anaheim, Calif., Police Departments.
Additional assistance was provided by the U.S. Secret Service. The
case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Aveis in
the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California.
The case being prosecuted in the District of Connecticut was
investigated by the FBI and the Connecticut Computer Crimes Task
Force. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney
Edward Chang of the U.S. Attorney Office’s Computer Hacking and
Intellectual Property Unit.
U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For Information, Contact Public Affairs
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Channing Phillips (202) 514-6933
Nigerian man pleads guilty and is sentenced to 18 months
by Nigerian Court for computer intrusion in the United States
--Victim opened an email attachment from defendant that unbenownst to her contained “spyware”--
Washington, D.C. – Akeem Adejumo, a 22-year-old Nigerian citizen, has pled guilty and was sentenced to 18 months in prison by the Lagos State
High Court in Nigeria on April 16, 2008, for committing fraud on a U.S. citizen and employee of the National Aeronautical and Space Administration
(NASA), announced U.S. Attorney Jeffrey A. Taylor and NASA Inspector General Robert W. Cobb. Adejumo pled guilty to a two-count information
him with obtaining goods by False Pretenses and Forgery.
This investigation was initiated on December 7, 2006, when NASA Headquarters Information Technology Security employees alerted the NASA
Office of Inspector General (OIG) that a computer assigned to a Washington, D.C. NASA Headquarters employee had been compromised by an
unknown attacker. Further investigation revealed that the employee had clicked on an attachment to an email which, unbeknownst to the victim,
contained “spy-ware,” a malicious computer code capable of capturing and sending data from the victim’s computer to the perpetrator. This email was
sent from an individual that the employee had been communicating with from an Internet dating site. As a result of the spy-ware being installed, and
without the NASA employee’s knowledge, the attacker was able to obtain her personally-identifying information, including bank account numbers,
social security number, driver’s license information, residence address, and passwords to various computer accounts, as well as intercept private
Analysis of network traffic logs and the victim’s computer system revealed that the attacker originated from Nigeria and used multiple email addresses
to communicate with the victim. Further investigation revealed the presence of two additional victims and other email addresses used by the attacker.
Coordination with members of the Nigerian Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), and the initiation of a successful undercover
operation, resulted in the arrest of the perpetrator, Akeem Abejumo, in Nigeria on April 25, 2007.
In announcing Abejumo’s guilty plea and sentence, U.S. Attorney Taylor and Inspector General Cobb thanked and commended the Nigerian
Economic and Financial Crime Commission, particularly the Cyber Crime Unit/Advance Fee Fraud Section, for its exemplary cooperation with the
United States in the investigation and its success in the prosecution of this cyber-fraud case.
“Cyber-criminals know no boundaries and, despite their technical prowess, are nonetheless common criminals preying on innocent victims,” said
Inspector General Cobb.
“The partnership between law enforcement agencies in the United States and Nigeria in the successful prosecution of this case demonstrates that
cooperation between countries is vital to combat pernicious cyber-crime predators,” said U.S. Attorney Taylor. “The Nigerian Judge’s sentence in this
case – 18 months in prison – sends a strong message to cyber-criminals everywhere that this conduct will not be tolerated,” said Taylor.
U.S. Attorney Taylor and Inspector General Cobb praised the persistence and hard work of the NASA OIG Computer Crimes Division, Goddard
Space Flight Center, as well as U.S. Attorney’s Office Legal Assistant Lisa Robinson who assisted in the investigation, and Assistant U.S. Attorneys
G. Bradley Weinsheimer and Thomas J. Hibarger, who investigated this matter. They also thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Margo K. Brodie of the
Eastern District of New York, who serves as the Department of Justice’s Legal Advisor for Nigeria and who attended the plea and sentencing
proceeding in Lagos, Nigeria, on behalf of the Department of Justice.
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