The DOJ has extradited two suspected criminals from Cyprus for allegedly stealing Bitcoin. This comes a few days after the DOJ posted a job listing for a crypto and dark web attorney-adviser.
According to a statement from the US Department of Justice (DOJ), one is suspected of having stolen Bitcoin while the other was a money launderer connected to Hezbollah. The suspected Bitcoin thief is wanted in Arizona and Georgia for cyber intrusion and extortion. The other man is wanted in Florida for supporting Hezbollah through money laundering. Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian C. Rabbitt stated:
“These successful extraditions demonstrate the commitment of the Department of Justice to support local, state and federal law enforcement agencies throughout the United States and our strong working relationship with dedicated foreign partners who assist in apprehending foreign fugitives wherever they may be hiding […] Thanks to the efforts of our law enforcement partners in Cyprus, Ghassan Diab, and Joshua Polloso Epifaniou will now be held accountable in the United States for their alleged crimes.”
Brutal Force Attack
The DOJ is charging Cypriot national Joshua Polloso Epifaniou, a Cypriot national, for wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to commit computer fraud and identity theft, and extortion. As per the agency, Epifaniou and collaborators illegally accessed personal information from a Californian online game publisher. They also hacked a computer hardware company in New York and an online job site in Virginia.
The charge sheet also states that between October 2014 and 2016, they are alleged to have also infiltrated a site Online sports web belonging to Turner Broadcasting System. Epifaniou is said to have hacked into networks and stole over $ 56,850 in Bitcoin. He allegedly organized a brute force attack on Ripoff Report in 2016, where he allegedly held his database for ransom for $ 90,000.
According to the charge sheet, the second man extradited is Lebanese citizen Ghassan Diab. He is accused of money laundering over $ 100,000 and a plan to launder over $100,000 and transfer of license without a license. The DOJ identified Diab as an alleged member of Hezbollah.
Computer Hacking Attorney-Adviser
The arrests and extraditions related to cryptocurrency-related crimes come hot on the heels of this week’s hacking of twitter accounts belonging to prominent personalities and companies. We also reported recently that the DOJ is looking to hire a dark web, Cryptocurrency, and computer hacking attorney-adviser to assist in its crackdown on international cybercrime.
According to the job listing, the job holder will especially target the Asia Pacific, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia – regions that the DOJ said are rife with “sophisticated transnational organized crime threats” in the cybercrime and intellectual property underworld. Last week, a Malaysian court fined a local actor $4,000 or 26 months in jail for stealing $50,000 worth of Cryptocurrency. The digital assets belonged to his producer.