Feeds

DarkMarket founder jailed for five years

Digital underground kingpin sent down

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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.” ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
You really need to do some tech support for Aunty Agnes
Free anti-virus software, expires, stops updating and p0wns the world
Mozilla, EFF, Cisco back free-as-in-FREE-BEER SSL cert authority
Let’s Encrypt to give HTTPS-everywhere a boost in 2015
Meet OneRNG: a fully-open entropy generator for a paranoid age
Kiwis to seek random investors for crowd-funded randomiser
USB coding anarchy: Consider all sticks licked
Thumb drive design ruled by almighty buck
Attack reveals 81 percent of Tor users but admins call for calm
Cisco Netflow a handy tool for cheapskate attackers
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence
Download Choosing a Cloud Hosting Provider with Confidence to learn more about cloud computing - the new opportunities and new security challenges.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.