Technology

Cybercrime: Deer.io administrator sentenced to 2.5 years in prison

A Russian national well known to US authorities has been sentenced to two and a half years in prison for operating deer.io, a platform designed to sell stolen data and accounts. Already arrested in 2020 by the FBI, Kirill Victorovich Firsov acted as administrator of the Deer.io site.

This week, the US Department of Justice (DoJ) announced that Kirill Victorovich Firsov, 30, would spend 30 months in prison for administering the now defunct Deer.io site, which offered a “Shopify” type facade but at for the purposes of criminal activity.

Deer.io, which has reportedly been in business since at least 2013, has hosted more than 24,000 subscription-based online stores during its existence, with prices around 10 euros per month. According to the DoJ, at the time of its seizure, Deer.io had 3,000 active stores with sales of nearly 13.9 million euros.

Most business activity was carried out by cybercriminals

The FBI complaint says that despite claims that Deer.io was only used by legitimate businesses, a search of the website – which did not require special access – found that the bulk of sales were made by cybercriminals.

Law enforcement found stolen accounts that were listed for sale, along with personal information like names, addresses, phone numbers and social security numbers. Many victims were in the United States and Europe.

If a cybercriminal wanted to open a store on deer.io, he had to download his “products” and link a cryptocurrency wallet to his storefront. Monthly subscription fees were paid in cryptocurrency or through payment methods like WebMoney.

The “Cybercrime Shopify”

US Attorney Robert Brewer called the platform a “full service for cybercriminals.” During the FBI investigation on March 4, 2020, the agency purchased 1,100 compromised player accounts, and then on March 5, PIIs belonging to more than 3,600 US citizens.

After his arrest at JFK Airport, New York, Kirill Victorovich Firsov pleaded guilty on January 21, 2021, to “unauthorized solicitation of access devices”, a charge carrying a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a fine of 250,000 dollars (204,875 euros).

“When determining the sentence […], the prosecutor claimed that Firsov knew that deer.io was selling stolen and fraudulent accounts because he built the platform, which included a number of icons for companies based in the United States, on which anyone setting up a shop deer.io could click and then sell stolen accounts of these US companies, ”prosecutors say. “Even though it was selling stolen accounts, deer.io was not shrouded in secrecy and did not require a special password to access it, as everything was managed from Russia, and US law enforcement did not. could not gain a foothold. “

When deciding on an appropriate sentence, US judge Cynthia Bashant acknowledged that the accused had already spent 15 months in the US prison system – during the Covid-19 pandemic – and that he would likely remain incarcerated when the proceedings. deportation would begin after he has served his sentence.

Source: .com

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