Security Experts:

Operator of Codeshop Cybercrime Marketplace Sentenced to Prison

Macedonian national Djevair Ametovski was sentenced this week to 90 months in prison by United States authorities for operating an international cybercrime marketplace named Codeshop.

Ametovski, 32, had pleaded guilty to access device fraud and aggravated identity theft. He was sentenced to 90 months in prison and ordered to forfeit $250,000 and pay restitution — the exact restitution amount will be determined at a later date.

The man was arrested by Slovenian authorities in January 2014 and extradited to the United States in May 2016.

Known online as “codeshop,” “xhevo,” “sindrom” and “sindromx,” Ametovski ran Codeshop, a website that offered stolen payment card data, bank account credentials, and personal information.

Between August 2010 and January 2014, Ametovski and others used Codeshop to sell information on hundreds of thousands of people from around the world. They used phishing to hack into the databases of financial institutions and other types of organizations.

They packaged the obtained information and offered it for sale on Codeshop, where interested parties could search for specific types of data based on criteria such as bank, country, card brand and bank identification number.

The data offered through Codeshop could have been used for both fraudulent online purchases and to create payment cards that could be used to withdraw cash from ATMs.

“Ametovski used a network of online money exchangers and anonymous digital currencies, including Bitcoin, to reap revenues from the Codeshop website and to conceal all participants’ identities, including his own.  Over the course of the scheme, Ametovski obtained and sold stolen credit and debit card data for more than 1.3 million cards,” said the Justice Department.               

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Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a contributing editor at SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.