Moldovan Botnet Ringleader Indicted for Illegal Access to Thousands of U.S. Computers

The U.S. Secret Service has announced today that Alexander Lefterov, a/k/a “Alipako,” a/k/a “Uptime,” a/k/a “Alipatime,” age 37, of Chisinau, Moldova has been indicated by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh for computer fraud crimes, aggravated identity theft, and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. This indictment was returned on December 28th, 2021 and unsealed today.

According to United States Attorney Eric G. Olshan, from March 2021 through November 2021 Lefterov led a conspiracy amongst thousands of U.S. computers via a large botnet of infected computers to steal login credentials to access U.S. persons’ financial data to facilitate theft. The United States Government coordinated with the governments of Lithuania and Moldova to uncover this conspiracy and level the indictment. It is not clear how much money this conspiracy defrauded or stole from U.S. persons.

United States Attorney Eric G. Olshan made the following statements:

“Lefterov and his co-conspirators allegedly used their sophisticated cyber skills and capabilities to victimize people throughout the country without regard for the financial havoc they wreaked…This case illustrates the resolve of our office and the law enforcement community to identify and pursue accountability from those who seek to exploit technology for their own personal gain at the expense of ordinary citizens. We will continue our collective fight to keep our neighbors safe regardless of whether they’re out on the street or sitting behind their keyboards.”

FBI Pittsburgh Special Agent in Charge Kevin Rojek added:

“Protecting Americans in cyber space is a top priority, and we will aggressively pursue anyone, no matter if they’re on U.S. soil or overseas, who believes our population is an easy target…The FBI and our partners will continue investigating the sources behind malware intrusions and the hijacking of machines for malicious attacks against Americans online. We urge everyone to practice secure cyber hygiene.”

Special Agent in Charge Timothy Burke, U.S. Secret Service Pittsburgh Field Office, added:

“The United States Secret Service continues to locate cyber criminals wherever they may be, whether domestically or hiding abroad…Working with our partners, we will continue these investigations to safeguard Americans from cyber fraud and other illicit activities.”

It is not currently clear how the United States plans to bring Lefterov to justice. The U.S. does not have an extradition treaty with Moldova and considering the proximity of Chisinau to the Russian breakaway region, the suspect could easily take refuge with the Russian Federation.

Tessaron
Tessaron
United States Military Academy and American Military University Alumni. Victor covers flash military, intelligence, and geo-political updates.

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