FBI Expert

FBI Seeks Cyber Criminals

Washington, D.C.

The FBI said agents were seeking FARHAN ARSHAD and NOOR AZIZ UDDIN, age-50; CARLOS PEREZ-MELARA, age-33; ANDREY NABILEVICH TAAME; and ALEXSEY BELAN–all wanted in connection with federal warrants charging them with cyber crimes.  Eluding capture, the FBI said rewards had been issued ranging from $50,000 to $100,000 hoping the money will generate information leading to their arrest.  Reflecting the priority the FBI now places on cyber crime, the individuals were also publicized as being fugitives from justice on the FBI’s Most Wanted Cyber Criminals List.

“Because cyber crime knows no boundaries,” the FBI’s RICHARD McFEELEY, Executive Assistant Director of the Criminal Cyber Response and Services Branch said the Bureau had also asked their international partners for assistance in an effort to generate publicity and apprehend the criminals.  “The FBI will not stand by and watch … cyber adversaries attack our networks; … spy[ing] … and steal[ing] from our nation,” he said.

The FBI said during a four [4] year period between 2008 and 2012 ARSHAD and UDDIN gained unauthorized access to business telephone systems and used the systems to initiate long-distance telephone calls to premium rate numbers in a scheme known as international revenue share fraud.  The conspiracy caused the owners of compromised telephone systems to be billed for services they neither ordered nor desired.  Agents said ARSHAD and UDDIN were thought to be members of a suspected international criminal ring that extended into Pakistan, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, Spain, Singapore, Italy, and Malaysia,.  The FBI said ARSHAD and UDDIN are alleged to have bilked telecom companies and various government entities in the United States and abroad funds totaling in excess $50 million.

Likewise, CARLOS PEREZ-MELARA is wanted for his alleged involvement with manufacturing software that allowed customers to collect keystrokes and other outgoing electronic communications from friends and associates, sending “spyware” disguised as an electronic card.  Telling customers they could catch cheating lovers, in September 2003, the software was responsible for intercepting the private communications of thousands of individuals.  Called “Lover Spy,” and “Email PI,” the programs periodically sent emails to customers, permitting them to obtain lists of visited websites, passwords and other intercepted email messages from the intended victims.

ALEKSEYEVICH BELAN was being sought for his alleged involvement in the unauthorized taking of data from three [3] U.S. based companies in 2012 and 2013.  Agents say BELAN remotely accessed the victim companies computer networks without authorization and obtained information for the purposes of commercial advantage and financial gain.  He also allegedly possessed and used, without lawful authority, means of identification belonging to the employees of the companies taking the data.

Meanwhile, in another scheme, agents were also looking for ANDREY NABILEVICH TAAME for his alleged involvement in OPERATION GHOST CLICK, a scheme that infected more than four [4] million computers located in more than 100 countries from approximately 2007 to October 2011.  The scheme used software changing a computer’s Domain Name System [DNS] settings .   According to the FBI, the DNS serves as a phone book for the Internet traffic by translating domain names, such as www.fbi.gov, into Internet Protocol [IP] addresses allowing Internet traffic to be routed to a correct destination.  TAAME and six [6] other associates who have since been arrested redirected Internet traffic to websites users did not intend to visit.  Hijacking the traffic, the FBI said TAAME and his associates had engaged in “online advertising fraud,” diverting traffic from websites with no commercial relationship to websites that pay for online hits.