The UK Crown Prosecution Service has found a man of 37 years of age from Bulgaria guilty for playing a vital role in a massive phishing scheme that scammed a lot of victims across the UK. According to the Metropolitan Police investigators, the Bulgarian has been in operating for many years and have been able to raise an amount of £41 million from his victims.
The Bulgarian police arrested the suspect at his home in Pleven, Bulgaria. Asper the British prosecutor, the police found out that the suspect stayed with his parents and siblings. After a search at the suspect’s home, the police seized a computer and other devices that contained pieces of information about the level of his phishing scheme. The prosecutor also revealed that the 37 years old Bulgarian, Svetoslav Donchev, after the arrestin Bulgaria was later brought to the United Kingdom and handed over to the British authorities. However, the suspect pleaded guilty in court to all the five charges he received.
Sarah Jennings, who was the prosecutor allocated to the case said the suspect Donchev, worked with a syndicate who made plans to steal from several UK companies. The criminal gang planned to get hold of the personal and financial data of as many as 500,000 individuals. The prosecutor added that, although their criminal activities did not go according to the way they wanted it to go, Donchev managed to use his technical abilities to help the syndicate to collect hundreds of thousands of victims’ details and banking credentials.
Furthermore, the prosecutor said, the exact time they started the phishing scheme is not known, but from the investigation, the suspect and his gang created “website scripts” that they made to look the same as some valid webpages and connected them through various servers. The gang managed these servers at their base.
Afterwards, the gang then spoofs fake emails to the victims to commence the scheme. The email contains a message that tells the victims to verify their account. The email also comes with a link that sends the victims back to the phony website.
Image Source: bankinfosecurity.com
Then with the help of particular software developed by Donchev, the fake emails are sent quickly with no inference from various web security features. When the victims enter their personal and financial information through the link that was attached to the fake emails, the gang then record the details from the victims and sell them on the Darknet.
The prosecutor clarified that Donchev did not steal any of the details himself, but he served as the brain behind the phishing scheme and provided the needed tools for it.
It was also found out from the investigation that Donchev has been in connection with a famous UK hacker called Grant West who is known for his notorious cyber crimes. The prosecutor claimed that the trial of West in 2017 helped investigators to see the name of the Bulgarian suspect though the name of his gang is still hidden. The prosecutor suggested to the court to give Donchev a lengthy prison sentence of15 years or more. But after he pleaded guilty, the Judge gave him a fair jail term of nine years with a fine.
Similar to Donchev’s sentence, the notorious hacker, Grant West in 2017 received a sentence of 10 years in prison from the British court when he also pleaded guilty to his criminal charges. The British police also seized from West about $1 million in cryptocurrency made from his illegal activities.
Source: Bank Infosecurity
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