36 indicted in global cybercrime ring that stole $530M

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Updated 07 February 2018
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36 indicted in global cybercrime ring that stole $530M

LOS ANGELES: Thirty-six people were indicted in connection with an international identity theft ring known as a “one-stop shop for cybercriminals” that sold stolen credit card information on the dark web, leading to losses of more than $530 million, US prosecutors said Wednesday.
The Infraud Organization — founded in 2010 and operated under the slogan “In Fraud We Trust” — used an online forum to buy and sell stolen credit card and bank account numbers, Social Security numbers and other personal information, the US Justice Department said.
Investigators believe the group’s nearly 11,000 members targeted more than 4.3 million credit cards, debit cards and bank accounts worldwide, Deputy Assistant Attorney General David Rybicki said.
Most of the members of Infraud never met in person and only knew one another through their online usernames, he said. The organization’s goal was to become the premier site to purchase retail items with stolen or counterfeit credit card information, prosecutors said.
The group’s hierarchy included administrators who managed the operation and membership, forum moderators and vendors who sold illicit products and services to members. Members of the group would then use the forum on the dark web — part of the Internet often used for illegal activity — to gather information and facilitate the sale of the stolen data, officials said.
The indictment unsealed Wednesday in Nevada marks the first time the Justice Department has arrested anyone in connection with Infraud, which Rybecki called one of the largest international cybercrime rings.
“This case reflects the alarming and increasing threat posed by cybercrime,” Rybicki said. “The Department of Justice refuses to allow cybercriminals to hide behind the anonymity of the web while stealing personally identifying information, emptying bank accounts, and wreaking havoc on our nation’s digital infrastructure and financial system.”
Thirteen people were taken into custody across the globe, including in California, New York and Alabama. Suspects arrested in France, the United Kingdom, Italy, Australia, Kosovo and Serbia were awaiting extradition.


Flood rescue stepped up as more torrential rain batters Kerala

Updated 13 min 55 sec ago
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Flood rescue stepped up as more torrential rain batters Kerala

  • Thousands of people are waiting to be rescued as relentless monsoon rains cause extensive flooding
  • The central government has dispatched military units to Kerala, but state officials are pleading for additional help

KOCHI, India: Rescuers in helicopters and boats fought through renewed torrential rain Saturday to reach stranded villages in India’s Kerala state as the toll from the worst monsoon floods in a century rose above 320 dead.
Dozens of military and coast guard helicopters took troops to high risk areas seeking people trapped on the roofs of submerged buildings. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi described the crisis as “devastating” after visiting Kerala.
Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan announced late Friday that the monsoon death toll had dramatically risen to 324.
Media reports said at least another 14 bodies were found Saturday and state officials said they expected the number to rise as more landslides were reported and dam levels remained dangerously high. No new official toll was given however.
With power and communication lines down, thousands remained trapped in towns and villages cut off by the floods amid growing shortages of food and water.
Helicopters have been dropping emergency food and water supplies across Kerala, while special trains carrying drinking water and rice have been sent to the state.


With rain alerts hanging over much of the state, dozens of dam and reservoir gates across the state have had to be opened as the waters reached danger levels, inundating many villages downstream.
Particular fears have been raised for Chengannur, about 120 kilometers (75 miles) north of the state capital Thiruvananthapuram, which has been cut off for four days.
Troops and military boats have been sent to the town and media reports said bodies had been found. The state government did not immediately give an updated toll early Saturday.
Saji Cherian, who represents Chengannur in the Kerala assembly, said he feared there were at least 50 dead in the town and broke down in tears as he pleaded for more help on Asianet TV late Friday.
“Please give us a helicopter. I am begging you. Please help me, people in my place will die. Please help us. There is no other solution, people have to be airlifted,” he said.
“We did what we can with fishing boats we procured using our political clout. But we can’t do more.”

With no end in sight to the rains, people all over the state of 33 million have made panic-stricken appeals on social media for help, saying they cannot make contact with rescue services.
Some say they are trapped inside temples and hospitals as well as submerged homes.
Authorities have warned that rains and strong winds are predicted for many parts of Kerala on Saturday and Sunday.
Prime Minister Modi arrived in Kerala on Friday night and held meetings with state leaders and went on a brief air inspection tour.
“I took stock of the situation arising in the wake of the devastating floods across the state,” Modi said in a Twitter statement.
An immediate grant of $75 million was offered by the government. Other state governments promised nearly $20 million.
Opposition Congress party leader Rahul Gandhi demanded though that Modi declare the flood crisis a “national disaster.”
Dozens of military helicopters stepped up rescue operations across the state and in one a heavily pregnant woman Sajita Jabeel, 25, gave birth just after her rescue, an Indian Navy spokesman said.

“It was a very critical case, the lady was in labor, her water had broken,” the pilot, the pilot Commandeer Vijay Verma told News18 television.
“We took a doctor along, we winched her up, it took some time though because we had to winch down two people to help her get on to the strop.”
Another pilot, Captain P. Rajkumar, winched 26 people up from a rooftop after guiding the helicopter through trees and other houses.
A video of his Sea King pulling up the victims has been widely shared on social media. He ended up with 32 people in his Sea King helicopter.
Rajkumar was given the Shaurya Chakra medal for bravery this week after lifting a fisherman from the sea when cyclone Ockhi hit India last year.