Data Breach News

Young Cyber Scammer Arrested For Attacks On 45 US Companies

Spanish police claimed the individual earned 391 bitcoins, valued at over $27 million, from these cyberattacks.

by Mihir Bagwe June 14th, 2024

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A 22-year-old British national, allegedly the leader of an organized cybercrime group that targeted nearly four dozen U.S. companies, was arrested in Palma de Mallorca at the behest of the FBI, said the Spanish National Police.

The young man allegedly orchestrated attacks on 45 companies in the United States through phishing campaigns, and subsequently gained unauthorized access to sensitive company information and cryptocurrency wallets.

Cyber Scammer Used Familiar Playbook

The modus operandi of the cybercriminal was simple: use phishing techniques to obtain access credentials from individuals,; use these credentials to infiltrate corporate work systems; exfiltrate sensitive company data that was likely monetized and put up for sale on dark web forums; and also access victims’ cryptocurrency wallets to siphon them off.

This modus operandi allowed the scammer to amass a significant amount of bitcoins. The Spanish police said the young cyber scammer managed to gain control over 391 bitcoins – approximately valued at over $27 million – from his victims.

The arrest occurred at Palma airport as the suspect was preparing to leave Spain on a charter flight to Naples.

The operation was conducted by agents of the Spanish National Police in collaboration with the FBI. The investigation, led by the Central Cybercrime Unit and supported by the Balearic Superior Headquarters, began in late May when the FBI’s Los Angeles office requested information about the suspect that they believed was in Spain.

The FBI reported that an International Arrest Warrant had been issued by a Federal Court of the Central District of California, prompting intensified efforts to locate the suspect.

Laptop, Phone Seized

The suspect was carrying a laptop and a mobile phone at the time of his arrest, which were seized. The judicial authority subsequently ordered the suspect to be placed in provisional prison.

The FBI did not immediately provide a response on whether the young British man would be extradited to the U.S. to be tried, nor did they release details on an indictment, but many similar cases in the recent past show the possibility of that happening soon.


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