Three Romanian men were extradited to the United States this week after being indicted for allegedly stealing more than $4 million in an online crime spree that lasted nearly a decade, federal prosecutors say.
The three allegedly developed custom malware—known as “bayrob“—and created bogus online advertisements for used cars, tricking victims into installing malware that served up fake versions of eBay, PayPal, Facebook, and other sites, where they spent thousands of dollars to buy nonexistent vehicles. The group even replicated live customer service chat features on their websites, and created a fake trucking company to explain delays in shipping cars while they absconded with victims’ money, according to security firm Symantec, which assisted the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the matter.
The three men, all in their early 30s, also allegedly used fake job ads to entice unsuspecting workers to assist in laundering funds and operated a botnet of more than 60,000 malware-infected computers used to harvest credit numbers, send millions of phishing emails and mine cryptocurrency for profit, according to Symantec. The men face charges of wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, conspiracy to commit money laundering and others in a 21-count indictment.