A Romanian man was sentenced to 7 years in prison for his part in a phishing ring that preyed upon Connecticut residents. The U.S. Attorney’s Office announced last week that Dragos Nicolae Drashici, 28, was on his way to prison. Drashici, along with 12 defendants from countries all over the world including Canada, Bulgaria and Croatia, had been involved in a phishing ring from 2004 until at least 2010. The ring came to the attention of authorities in CT after a resident complained to them about an email they’d gotten. It informed them their online banking profile had been locked and directed them to click a link to unlock it.
The link led to a page that looked like the well-known local bank People’s bank, but was actually a malicious fake programmed to steal login info, credit card numbers, bank account numbers and other personal info and send them to Drashici in Romania. Authorities say he is a self-described hacker who spent years spamming, harvesting email addresses, and setting up malicious websites. Other companies exploited in his phishing scams included Citibank, Capital One, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Comerica Bank, Regions Bank, LaSalle Bank, U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo & Co., eBay and PayPal. Romanian officials have filed criminal charges against 19 other citizens in relation to those attacks.
Just how much of a profit Drashici made off of his crime spree hasn’t been disclosed and may not be known, but it was probably substantial. Millions of dollars are stolen by phishers each year and the amount of attacks, especially spear phishing ones, continues to rise as other forms of email spam decline in popularity and cybercriminals get better and betters at faking websites and emails.