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Spear phisher targeted eBay employees

Fake ATM scam alleged, too

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Updated This article has been updated to correct erroneous information included in DIICOT's press release and an earlier blog post by Gary Warner.

Romanian authorities said they have detained a man suspected of absconding with more than $3m through a series of computer crimes that included phishing attacks that targeted eBay employees.

Liviu Mihail Concioiu is under investigation for carrying out two phishing attacks that were directed solely at eBay employees, according to a press release (translation here) from Romania's DIICOT agency.

It is unclear how many eBay employees fell for the scam. According to computer-forensics expert Gary Warner of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, it appears the alleged spear phisher netted credentials for six eBay employees, which because of other security measures in place, had to be used "immediately."

Concioiu eventually was able to gain access to an eBay database that contained information about users of the online auction house. Using the information he found there, the suspect undertook a third phishing attack that targeted specific eBay users.

An eBay spokeswoman declined to discuss any details of the case other than to issue a statement that read:

“The Romanian authorities’ arrest of Liviu Mihail Concioiu and his conspirators is a great victory in the global fight against Internet fraud. eBay’s internal investigations team has been working closely with Romanian and U.S. law enforcement on this investigation since May of 2009, and we are confident that the evidence will link these individuals to a series of online attacks and organized criminal activity.”

Concioiu, who was one of three people detained on Wednesday by DIICOT, is also under suspicion for creating fake ATM cards for Italian banks and withdrawing more than 300,000 euros. In all, he pocketed about $3m, authorities said. ®

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