Finally Some Cyber Justice?

Recently the U.S Justice Department announced[1] the sentencing of an individual in a money laundering case that appears on the surface to connect some of the dots in the vast realm known as cybercrime.

By Scott Morgan exclusively for Vanguard Global & Defence Unlimited

Recently the U.S Justice Department announced[1] the sentencing of an individual in a money laundering case that appears on the surface to connect some of the dots in the vast realm known as cybercrime. The sentencing of Ghaleb Alaumary of Canada to a sentence of 140 months in a U.S. prison plus paying restitution of at least $30 Million came after Mr. Alaumary pled guilty to two counts of conspiracy to commit money laundering. The case that was presented by the Justice Department presented an interesting scheme that was at work. Mr. Alaumary had a role in a scheme that supported North Korean Hackers[2]. He provided bank accounts through which the North Korean Hackers could move their ill-gotten gains. He also recruited people to withdraw these funds from ATMs around the world. Some of these funds originated from attacks on institutions such as a 2018 fraud targeting BankIslami in Pakistan, a 2019 attack against a Maltese bank as well an unspecified football team in Britain. Information presented by the Justice Department indicates that this is not the only link that Mr. Alaumary is in the cybercrime world. Information was presented that Ramon Abbas aka the Instagram influencer Hushpuppi[3] was also part of this network. Mr. Abbas himself is facing charges in the United States for his role in the attack against the Maltese bank. During the trial itself links were established between Mr. Alaumary and at least three gentlemen who are known to be members of the North Korean Military who were known to be participants in the cyberattacks and other financial crimes. These three individuals are themselves under indictment[4] here in the United States also. Two of the crimes that the indictments are for include the Sony hack of 2014 and the Wannacry ransomware outbreak in 2017. It should be noted that Mr. Alaumary wasn’t accused of having a role in either incident. However there are two scams in Canada that Mr. Alaumary was involved and that also drew the interest of the Justice Department. In one case he sent spoof emails representing a Construction company and managed to dupe an unnamed Canadian University to send him 9.4 Million Dollars (Canadian). In a separate manner he used a network of scammers to impersonate wealthy bankers to con victims out of their personal information, then hundreds of thousands of dollars were withdrawn from the victims accounts. Clearly some sort of plea deal was struck. Sentencing guidelines called for a sentence of 20 years. This case was part of a large matter taking place in the Los Angeles area. So it appears that we should be watching the LA Federal Docket for the foreseeable future.

 

[1] https://www.justice.gov/usao-cdca/pr/international-money-launderer-sentenced-over-11-years-federal-prison-laundering[2] https://www.cyberscoop.com/north-korean-money-laundering-case-alaumary/[3] https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-02-20/nigerian-instagram-star-aided-north-korea-cyber-crime-u-s-says[4] https://www.justice.gov/usao-cdca/pr/3-north-korean-military-hackers-indicted-wide-ranging-scheme-commit-cyberattacks-and

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