June 19, 2009

FBI agent looks back on time posing as a Cyber Criminal

A good Q&A with FBI Special Agent J. Keith Mularski (AKA: Master  Splynter), the agent who went undercover for 2 years pretending to be an infamous hacker and spammer to infiltrate "Dark Market"; an online group of cyber criminals.

"It was like a soap opera. There was constant drama going on. A lot of people were accusing one another of being cops."

After spending 2 years undercover, the sting ended with over 60 arrests in Germany, Turkey, The UK and the United States, with charges ranging from Identity theft to kidnapping.

Q. What sorts of crimes were they doing on Dark Market?
A. They were doing all sorts of identity theft. They were hacking into companies and stealing credit card numbers and selling them. They were selling counterfeit drivers' licenses and other photo documentation, as well as manufacturing fake credit cards. They were selling harvested bank accounts and brokerage accounts and selling different types of malware or spyware programs or Trojan horses that you could infect peoples' computers with. The whole gamut of the cyber underground was available there. If you needed it you could get it there on the site.

"The attackers have changed with the emergence of organized crime into these cybercrimes...It's all about the money now and not just about how elite my hacking skills are to get into this Web site. Profit is driving these groups."

Q. How old are they?
A. The average guy is in his mid-20s or so. We've seen guys in their 40s. Ages range from 17 to 40something, typically. A lot of the guys who we arrested were in their mid-30s.

Q. The stakes are higher now for everyone?
A. Definitely.

Read the Full Q&A on CNET

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