Feeds

DarkMarket founder jailed for five years

Digital underground kingpin sent down

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

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
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Who.is does the Harlem Shake
Blame it on LOLing XSS terroristas
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
Stunned by Shellshock Bash bug? Patch all you can – or be punished
UK data watchdog rolls up its sleeves, polishes truncheon
Ello? ello? ello?: Facebook challenger in DDoS KNOCKOUT
Gets back up again after half an hour though
Desperate VXers enslave FREEZERS in DDoS bot
Updated Spike malware targets Asia
Heatmiser digital thermostat users: For pity's sake, DON'T SWITCH ON the WI-FI
A stranger turns up YOUR heat with default password 1234
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.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.