FBI Seeks Information Regarding Several Cyber Fugitives
The FBI has added five individuals to its Cyber’s Most Wanted and is seeking information from the public regarding their whereabouts. They are Farhan Arshad and Noor Aziz Uddin; Carlos Perez-Melara; Andrey Nabilevich Taame; and Alexsey Belan. Rewards ranging from up to $50,000 to $100,000 are being offered for information that leads to their arrest.
“The FBI will not stand by and watch our cyber adversaries attack our networks; we will track down and arrest individuals who have made it their mission to spy on and steal from our nation and citizens,” said Richard McFeely, executive assistant director of the Criminal, Cyber, Response, and Services Branch. “Because cyber crime knows no boundaries, cyber criminals think they can hide overseas. But we are using our international partnerships and the publicity generated by our Cyber’s Most Wanted to ferret them out.”
Fugitives Farhan Arshad and Noor Aziz Uddin are wanted for their alleged involvement in an international telecommunications scheme and hacking venture to defraud individuals, telecom companies, and government entities in the United States and abroad, resulting in losses exceeding $50 million. It is alleged that between 2008 and 2012, Arshad and Uddin gained unauthorized access to business telephone systems and used those systems to initiate long-distance telephone calls to premium rate numbers through a scheme known as international revenue share fraud. The conspiracy caused the owners of the compromised telephone systems to be billed for services they neither ordered nor desired. Arshad and Uddin are part of an international criminal ring that the FBI believes extends into Pakistan, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, Spain, Singapore, Italy, Malaysia, and other locations.
Arshad and Uddin were indicted for unauthorized access to a protected computer; conspiracy to gain unauthorized access to a protected computer; wire fraud; conspiracy to commit wire fraud; and identity theft.
Carlos Perez-Melara is wanted for his alleged involvement in manufacturing software that was used to intercept the private communications of hundreds, if not thousands, of victims around September 2003. As part of the scheme, Perez-Melara ran a website offering customers a way to “catch a cheating lover” by sending “spyware” disguised as an electronic greeting card. Victims who opened the card unwittingly installed a program that collected keystrokes and other incoming and outgoing electronic communications. The programs, created by Perez-Melara and known as “Lover Spy” and “e-mail PI,” would periodically send e-mail messages to his customers, allowing them to obtain passwords, lists of visited websites, and intercepted e-mail messages of the intended victims.
Perez-Melara was indicted for manufacturing a surreptitious interception device; sending a surreptitious interception device; advertising a surreptitious interception device; advertising and promoting the surreptitious use of an interception device; intercepting electronic communications; disclosing electronic communications; and unauthorized access to a protected computer for financial gain.
The FBI is seeking Andrey Nabilevich Taame for his alleged involvement in Operation Ghost Click, a scheme that infected more than four million computers located in more than 100 countries from approximately 2007 to October 2011. At least 500,000 victims were in the United States. The scheme involved changing a computer’s Domain Name System (DNS) settings. The DNS serves as a phone book for the Internet by translating domain names, such as www.fbi.gov, into Internet protocol (IP) addresses, thus allowing Internet traffic to be routed to the correct destination. As part of the scheme, Taame and six other individuals—who have since been arrested—used software that changed the victims’ computers’ DNS settings, therefore redirecting users’ legitimate Internet traffic to websites users did not intend to visit. This allowed Taame and his co-conspirators to hijack Internet traffic to commit online advertising fraud by diverting traffic from websites with no commercial relationship to websites that pay for online hits.
Taame was indicted for wire fraud; unauthorized access to a protected computer; and conspiracy to commit both offenses.
Alexsey Alekseyevich Belan is wanted for his alleged involvement in the unauthorized taking of data from three U.S.-based companies in 2012 and 2013. It is believed Belan remotely accessed the victim companies’ computer networks without authorization and thereby obtained information for the purposes of commercial advantage and private financial gain. Belan is also alleged to have knowingly possessed and used, without lawful authority, means of identification belonging to employees of the companies during and in relation to his unauthorized taking of the company data.
Belan was indicted for obtaining information from a protected computer; possession of 15 or more unauthorized access devices; and aggravated identity theft.