A hacker who turned the first ever Cypriot national to be extradited to the United States has pleaded guilty to extorting important American internet site operators with stolen person details.
Joshua Polloso Epifaniou was a teen when he started hacking into websites, stealing information, and threatening to launch it if he did not obtain a ransom.
The 21-12 months-old resident of Nicosia, Cyprus, was arrested by Cypriot authorities in February 2018. In July past calendar year, Epifaniou was extradited to the US to encounter charges in both equally Georgia and Arizona.
In accordance to US authorities, in between at minimum October 2014 and November 2016, Epifaniou searched web-site site visitors rankings to identify targets to extort. He then labored with co-conspirators to steal personally identifiable data from consumer and shopper databases belonging to victim web sites.
Amongst the internet websites hit by Epifaniou had been a free on-line activity publisher based in California, a New York City hardware firm, an on line work web-site headquartered in Virginia, a customer report web-site headquartered in Phoenix, and a athletics information web page primarily based in Atlanta, Georgia, and owned by Turner Broadcasting System Inc.
To steal data, Epifaniou either immediately exploited security vulnerabilities in the sufferer web sites or attained a chunk of details from a co-conspirator who had hacked into the target network.
Epifaniou then employed proxy servers positioned in foreign countries to log into on the web email accounts and ship messages to victims demanding a ransom payment in crypto-currency to avoid the stolen details remaining leaked.
On January 25, the Northern District of Georgia announced that Epifaniou experienced pleaded responsible to accessing a number of big web-sites primarily based in the United States without having authorization, stealing consumer data, and demanding that the internet site operators shell out a ransom to protect against his launch of the facts.
“This conviction signifies the determination of FBI investigators to hold cyber criminals accountable for extorting US businesses and citizens no subject where they may be hiding,” explained Chris Hacker, exclusive agent in demand of FBI Atlanta.
Prior to the plea, Epifaniou paid out virtually $600,000 in restitution to the victims. He also agreed to forfeit an more $389,113 and almost 70,000 euros to the federal government in his plea settlement.
Sentencing is scheduled for March 3, 2021.
Some pieces of this posting are sourced from: