US authorities have filed criminal and financial charges against two Russain natives Danil Potekhin and Dmitrii Karasavidi for cryptocurrency phishing and money laundering worth about $16.8 million.
The said amount in virtual currency and fiat money laundered has been gotten back by the US Secret Services through the attack.
According to the Treasury Department’s press release, the so-called fraudsters set up a fake website account that spoofed access on exchanges including Binance, Gemini, and Poloniex with stolen users credentials.
What is more, they used Poloniex accounts and the other exchanges profiles to purchase large volumes of gas token, which was meant to be used on the NEO blockchain platform.
Treasury Department Secretary Stephen T. Mnuchin said,
The Treasury Department will continue to use our authorities to target cyber criminals and remains committed to the safe and secure use of emerging technologies in the financial sector.
Spoofing, the cybercrime used by Potekhin and Karasavidi, is an old phishing tactic wherein cybercriminals would mimic the interface of legitimate websites. Unsuspecting victims would log in their username and password, possibly even their credit card details in some cases. Meanwhile, phishers would get the users’ credentials, allowing them to access their funds.