Feeds

Pizza delivery man cops to life in DarkMarket

Ran 'eBay for criminals' from net cafe

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

A former London pizza delivery man faces a 10-year prison sentence after admitting he helped found the notorious DarkMarket forum for computer crime, several news sites reported.

Renukanth Subramaniam, a 33-year-old Sri Lanka-born man from North London, pleaded guilty at Blackfriars Crown Court in London to conspiracy to defraud and furnishing false information. Authorities say he joined DarkMarket on its first day of operation in late 2005 and helped build it into an online resource for payment card fraud, with a thriving exchange for buying and selling stolen data and its own secure payment system.

DarkMarket operated for three years and had about 2,500 members at its peak. To be accepted, candidates had to provide details of 100 compromised cards to reviewers, who would then verify their validity. Members were required to adhere to a strict code of conduct that forbid foul language and pornography and demanded a kind of honor among thieves.

Subramaniam worked as a site administrator until October 2006, when he was forcibly demoted over allegations of poor security hygiene. He continued as a reviewer until June 2007 and was arrested the following month when he turned himself in to police in Wembley.

DarkMarket was shuttered in September 2008 following the arrest of another site admin who called himself Cha0. According to news reports, the Turkish hacker was known as a supplier of high-quality skimmers for payment card fraud and was eventually accused of kidnapping and torturing a Turkish police informant.

A month later, another DarkMarket admin with the handle Master Splynter was outted as senior cybercrime agent J Keith Mularski of the FBI. The website, it turned out, had been secretly run from an FBI facility in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Also on Thursday, a second DarkMarket associate pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud. John McHugh, 69, of Doncaster, South Yorkshire, was alleged to be an experienced payment card fraudster who went by the online moniker Devilman.

According to authorities, Subramaniam ran DarkMarket from the Java Bean internet cafe in Wembley, where he spent several hours a day. His handle, JiLsi, was adorned with an avatar of a pirate with an eye patch. Police said he owned three homes, but had no fixed address, crashing at friends' residences and never staying at any one place for long.

The men reportedly face a maximum of ten years at sentencing, which which will take place at an undetermined date. More coverage from The Independent and The Telegraph are here and here. ®

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

More from The Register

next story
Infosec geniuses hack a Canon PRINTER and install DOOM
Internet of Stuff securo-cockups strike yet again
'Speargun' program is fantasy, says cable operator
We just might notice if you cut our cables
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
YouTube, Amazon and Yahoo! caught in malvertising mess
Cisco says 'Kyle and Stan' attack is spreading through compromised ad networks
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
Microsoft to patch ASP.NET mess even if you don't
We know what's good for you, because we made the mess says Redmond
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.