Alleged $20M Carding Forum Mastermind Faces US Charges

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A Russian national is facing charges of running a $20m carding forum after being extradited from Israel to the US.

Aleksei Burkov, 29, arrived at Dulles International Airport on Monday after being arrested initially at Ben-Gurion airport in December 2015, and failing in his appeal attempts over subsequent years to avoid being shipped to the States.

According to an unsealed indictment, he is alleged to have run the Cardplanet site which sold mainly hacked payment card numbers, including those of many Americans. The Department of Justice claimed that fraudsters made over $20m from purchases using the stolen details.

Burkov is also charged with running a separate members-only site where sellers could advertise personally identifiable information (PII), malware, money laundering, hacking services and more. To keep the site under the radar of law enforcers and researchers, prospective members needed three existing members to vouch for them and around $5000, the DoJ claimed.

The Russian has been charged with wire fraud, access device fraud, and conspiracy to commit wire fraud, access device fraud, computer intrusions, identity theft and money laundering. He faces a maximum of 80 years in prison if convicted on all counts.

Law enforcers appear to be getting better at disrupting the activity of cybercrime marketplaces.

In February last year, global police swooped on 13 individuals arrested on suspicion of involvement in notorious carding forum 'Infraud' which is thought to have led to losses of over $530 million.

However, cyber-criminals are always one step ahead. News from McAfee last year revealed an increasing trend for downsizing from major dark web forums to smaller operations in order to build trust with buyers and stay under the radar.

Dark web sites also offer budding fraudsters all the tools and knowledge they need to get started.

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