Two Hackers Who Extorted Money From Uber and LinkedIn Plead Guilty

Two grey hat hackers have pleaded guilty to blackmailing Uber , LinkedIn, and other U.S. corporations for money in exchange for promises to delete data of millions of customers they had stolen in late 2016.

In a San Jose courthouse in California on Wednesday, Brandon Charles Glover (26) of Florida and Vasile Mereacre (23) of Toronto admitted they accessed and downloaded confidential corporate databases on Amazon Web Services using stolen credentials.

After downloading the data, the duo contacted affected companies to report security vulnerabilities and demanded money in exchange for the deletion of the data, according to a press release published by the US Justice Department.

“I was able to access backups upon backups, me and my team would like a huge reward for this,” the hackers said to the victim company in an email.

“Please keep in mind, we expect a big payment as this was hard work for us, we already helped a big corp which paid close to 7 digits, all went well.”

As The Hacker News reported two years ago, the hackers managed to inappropriately accessed and downloaded sensitive information of

57 million Uber riders and drivers

, for which Uber reportedly paid the duo $100,000 in bitcoin in an attempt to cover up the breach.

“The defendants used false names to communicate with the victim-corporations, and, on several occasions, informed the victim-corporations that they had been paid by other victim-corporations for identifying security vulnerabilities,” the indictment reads.

“They also sent the victim-corporations a sample of the data in order for the victim-corporations to verify the authenticity of data.”

The indictment also revealed that the duo blackmailed LinkedIn in the same way in December 2016, informing the company that they had compromised databases of LinkedIn’s subsidiary and stole over 90,000 user records, including their credit card information.

At that time, it was also reported that Uber sent its forensic team to the hackers’ house in Florida and Canada to analyze their computers to make sure all the stolen data had been wiped and had the hackers also sign a non-disclosure agreement to prevent further wrongdoings.

Uber waited a year to reveal the

October 2016 data breach

, for which it was later ordered by the attorneys general of all 50 states and the District of Columbia to pay $148 million across all 50 states and Washington DC to settle the investigation.

British and Dutch data protection regulators also hit the ride-sharing company with a

total fine of approximately $ 1.1 million

for failing to protect its customers’ personal information during a 2016 cyber attack.

At the time, it was also reported that Uber hid the data breach incident from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which was investigating another hacking incident against the company, and only told the commission about the 2016 breach in late 2017 when the incident was made public.

Glover and Mereacre each pleaded guilty to one charge of conspiracy to commit extortion and are set to face a maximum of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000 when they are sentenced.

The duo has been released on bond and will be sentenced in March 2020.

via The Hacker News

October 31, 2019 at 04:10AM

Former Argentine naval officer charged in 16 murders in 1972 massacre arrested in Miami

For years, a former Argentine naval officer was living in a $1 million waterfront home with a pool and dock in the Sans Souci Estates neighborhood of North Miami.

At 7 a.m. Friday, U.S. Marshals Service deputies knocked on his door and took him into custody to send him back to Argentina over a massacre he’s accused of leading nearly 50 years ago.

Roberto Guillermo Bravo, 77, faces 16 aggravated homicide and three attempted aggravated homicide charges for his alleged role in the Aug. 22, 1972, massacre at an Argentine Navy base in Trelew. Bravo is accused of participating in the fatal shootings of 16 prisoners and in the attempted killings of three other inmates who all opposed Argentina’s military government in the early 1970s.

Bravo has faced — and overcome — Argentina’s extradition request by the U.S. State Department in the past. In 2010, a federal magistrate judge, Robert Dube, declined to certify the country’s petition. But since that time, Argentina’s extradition case has become stronger, according to a new complaint unsealed in Miami federal court on Friday.

Read More: Former Argentine naval officer charged in 16 murders in 1972 massacre arrested in Miami  Task & Purpose

October 27, 2019 at 07:16AM

Feds hit GirlsDoPorn owners with criminal sex trafficking charges

Federal prosecutors have charged three men and a woman with sex trafficking charges for operating the popular porn site GirlsDoPorn. At least 22 women featured on the site have sued the site’s owners, charging that the pornographers used lies and coercion to gain their participation.

The 22 women said they responded to ads for clothed modeling gigs. When they were asked to shoot porn instead, they initially resisted. But they went along with it after the company assured them that their videos would only be sold on DVD to customers outside the United States and would not be posted online. That turned out to be a lie, as their videos wound up on GirlsDoPorn, a website with plenty of American viewers.

“I was in a state of panic when I first found out,” one of the alleged victims testified in court. “I couldn’t believe it. I still can’t believe it.”

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via Policy – Ars Technica

October 10, 2019 at 10:06PM

Federal corrections officer in Miami accepted money for bribes, feds say

A federal corrections officer has been charged after accepting bribes from South Florida prisoners, prosecutors said Friday.

Victor DeJesus, 47, was arrested and charged with bribery and conspiracy to commit bribery.

A 14-count indictment filed in Miami federal court alleges DeJesus accepted money in exchange for providing contraband to inmates at the Federal Correctional Institution.

According to the indictment, prisoners and those acting on their behalf supplied DeJesus with bribe payments from at least as early as December 2018 through September 2019.

DeJesus is alleged to have deposited the money into his personal bank account.

In exchange for the bribe payments, the indictment alleges, DeJesus brought prohibited items into the prison. The indictment goes on to say DeJesus had inmate co-conspirators distribute the contraband.

The Federal Correctional Institution in Miami is operated by the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

DeJesus was scheduled to appear before a U.S. magistrate Friday afternoon.

Copyright 2019 by WPLG – All rights reserved.

via “Miami arrested” – Google News

October 11, 2019 at 11:33AM

Irish Citizen Gets Prison For Trafficking Rhino Cup From Miami

MIAMI, FL — A second Irish citizen pleaded guilty Tuesday to his role in trafficking a drink cup fashioned out of an endangered rhinoceros horn from Miami International Airport to the United Kingdom by way of Atlanta.

Richard Sheridan, 50, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Jose E. Martinez to 14 months in a federal prison followed by two years of supervised release.

Michael Hegarty, 40, previously pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 1-1/2 years in prison followed by three years of supervised release.

“For our critically endangered wildlife, every case that serves to deter their illegal poaching and trafficking in their artifacts is important to the global effort to preserve these iconic specimens for our children and the generations to come,” U.S. Attorney Ariana Fajardo Orshan said in Miami.

Federal prosecutors said Sheridan and Hegarty traveled from London to Miami where they were joined by a Miami resident to attend an auction in Rockingham, North Carolina back in 2012.

via “Miami arrested” – Google News

October 2, 2019 at 04:56PM

Justin Boccio Pleads Guilty in Kidnapping and Torture of Florida Plastic Surgeon

Just before 4 a.m. January 15, a Miami-Dade man woke up in his car outside a strip club with bruises on his face, his extremities bound, and his hands gruesomely burned.

Police found him after receiving reports of an incessant honking car horn in the parking lot of Cheetah Gentlemen’s Club in Broward County. The man told officers he had gone shopping at a Walmart the previous evening, and when he returned to his car, an armed man forced him into a waiting rental van, blindfolded him, and tied his hands and feet.

What followed was a night of terror and torture. The man’s two captors repeatedly used a Taser on him. They drove the man, a plastic surgeon in Broward, for an hour before making a stop at a storage facility in Margate. There, they tied him to a rolling chair, took off the blindfold, and, amid a display of sharp weapons and guns, threatened to kill him if he didn’t give them money.

Justin Boccio Pleads Guilty in Kidnapping and Torture of Florida Plastic Surgeon  Miami New Times

September 26, 2019 at 05:30PM

Federal Sentences Depend More on Judicial Assignments

In most of 30 cities studied, the length of a federal defendant’s sentence increasingly depends on which judge is assigned to decide the case, says a new report from the U.S. Sentencing Commission. Increasing differences in sentencing first reported in 2012 “generally persist to this day, even within the same courthouse,” the commission said.

The commission looked at sentences over a 13-year period, from 2005 to 2017. The commission, which was established as a result of the 1984 Sentencing Reform Act, noted that the law “was the result of a widespread bipartisan concern that unwarranted sentencing disparities existed in the federal judicial
system.” The commission issued guidelines to judges on the appropriate ranges of sentences for various crimes, but the Supreme Court made those guidelines advisory.

via The Crime Report

January 10, 2019 at 11:24AM

‘OxyMonster’ drug dealer who came to US for beard contest sent to prison for 20 years

A Frenchman who was arrested when he arrived in the U.S. for a world beard-growing championship was sentenced Tuesday to 20 years in prison for online drug trafficking using the alias “OxyMonster.” The sentence was imposed by U.S. District Judge Robert Scola on 36-year-old Gal Vallerius. He pleaded…

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