Alleged cybercriminal, cartoonist arrested in France
BadB, founding member of CarderPlanet, awaiting extradition to U.S.
By Tyler Metzger | Published: August 12, 2010
An alleged founder of an international website used to traffic massive amounts of stolen bank card data has been arrested in France, according to an indictment unsealed Wednesday.
|BADB, PRO CYBERCRIMINAL, AMATEUR CARTOONIST|
One of BadB's websites, badb.biz, features several cartoons depicting U.S. card users as bumbling idiots. Click on the above cartoon to watch one of them.
Vladislav Anatolieviech Horohorin, 27, also known by the online alias BadB, was detained in Nice before boarding a plane to Moscow, where he lives. Horohorin, who holds dual citizenship in Ukraine and Israel, was one of the founding members of CarderPlanet, a unique forum launched in May 2001 where identity thieves and hackers around the globe could share information about credit card fraud.
CarderPlanet disbanded in 2004, and BadB went on to sell stolen card data -- known as "dumps" -- through websites such as carder.su, and on his own sites, dumps.name and badb.biz. He meticulously moderated the sites, posting rules banning foul language and warning against untrustworthy users. He also promoted his services with cheerful, Flash-based cartoons.
Badb.biz features several animated cartoons. The first one shows Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin giving medals to cyber-villains, and states that thanks to the criminals' efforts, "citizens [of the U.S.] have no more money to pay their debts." The short then blazes into a patriotic segment declaring "Carders need you!" while "The Imperial March (Darth Vader's Theme)" from the movie "Star Wars" plays.
The subsequent cartoon tells the story of a beachgoing, United States-hating nationalist who steals card data from an overweight North American. After the man lifts the data with the help of a buxom woman, he's shown throwing up piles of money while James Brown's "I Got You (I Feel Good)" blares. The scene fades into "Russian carders preparing for hot summer."
But behind the goofy cartoons was a serious criminal enterprise, authorities said. "The network created by the founders of CarderPlanet, including Vladislav Horohorin, remains one of the most sophisticated organizations of online financial criminals in the world," said U.S. Secret Service Assistant Director for Investigations Michael Merritt in an FBI press release. "This network has been repeatedly linked to nearly every major intrusion of financial information reported to the international law enforcement community. This arrest is an illustration of the success that comes from international law enforcement and private sector partnerships and confirms the Secret Service commitment to traversing the globe in pursuit of online criminals."
The Secret Service says he is one of its five most wanted cybercriminals in the world.
The indictment states that Horohorin directed undercover Secret Service agents to one of his sites after advertising the availability of illegal card data. From there, agents obtained the data after making payments to online, foreign sites, such as Webmoney, which is hosted in Russia.
Horohorin was indicted in the United States in November 2009 on charges of access-device fraud and aggravated identity theft. According to a press release, he's currently being held in France awaiting extradition to the U.S. He faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted on the access-device fraud charge, and an additional two years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 if convicted of the identity theft charge.
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