Feeds

DarkMarket founder jailed for five years

Digital underground kingpin sent down

SANS - Survey on application security programs

The founder of a notorious underground carding forum was jailed for four years and eight months on Friday.

Renukanth Subramaniam, 33, set up DarkMarket, an eBay for cybercrooks where fraudsters and crackers could buy and sell stolen bank log-ins, credit card details and skimmers. The scheme became unstuck in 2008 after the site was infiltrated by an FBI agent who posed as a criminal hacker and gained a senior role running the site under the alias MastrSplyntr in an undercover operation that ultimately led to 60 arrests worldwide including Subramaniam (aka JiLsi).

Prosecutor Sandip Patel described DarkMarket as a "Facebook for fraudsters", the BBC reports.

Subramaniam, a former pizza man, who ran DarkMarket from an internet cafe in north London, admitted conspiracy to defraud along with five separate mortgage fraud offences.

John McHugh, 66, of Doncaster, South Yorkshire, was also jailed on Friday at the same sentencing hearing at Blackfriars Crown Court. McHugh (aka 'Devilman') was sent down for two years after he was convicted of selling stolen credit card details on DarkMarket.

UK investigations into DarkMarket were led by the Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca), whose explanation of the underground forum sheds light on the workings of the underground economy.

DarkMarket provided a sophisticated, invitation-only service for criminals to buy and sell compromised credit card information and anything else they needed to commit financial crime. It also offered training in fraud techniques, including online bank account takeovers, and money laundering. There was a business-like hierarchy, with an elite core in the management positions. Further down the hierarchy, reviewers would assess potential new members for suitability. At the bottom end of the ladder, new members would have to prove their criminal credentials and ability before they were accepted as full members.

Police are attempting to track down and seize Subramaniam and McHugh's illgotten gains.

Sharon Lemon, deputy director of Soca, explained: “A financial investigation is now underway into the money these men made from their crimes. It’s hard to put a figure on the sums involved now, but we believe that Subramaniam suffered a personal loss of £100,000 in one go linked to deals on a single lost memory stick.

"SOCA is determined to recover what it can from them. Things don’t end with a conviction.” ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker
Natter-board tells middle-class Britain to purée its passwords
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Web data BLEEDOUT: Users to feel the pain as Heartbleed bug revealed
Vendors and ISPs have work to do updating firmware - if it's possible to fix this
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
NSA denies it knew about and USED Heartbleed encryption flaw for TWO YEARS
Agency forgets it exists to protect communications, not just spy on them
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.