Romania Arrests Three for Stealing Client Information from Cypriot Brokerage

9,000 contacts were compromised in a scheme to sell stolen client information to the highest bidder.

Romania’s Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT) has successfully detained three individuals who attempted to sell information stolen from a Cyprus-based brokerage. Iliescu Stefan Virgil, Roşoiu Darie Leone, and Vîlceanu Ionut succeeded in obtaining sensitive data from the brokerage group, which they intended to sell for upwards of €80,000.

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All three individuals organized their activities earlier this year to hack a data cache at an unnamed brokerage, making off with its CRM database management platform. The stolen information featured a wide range of sensitive disclosures, including client data such as names, addresses, emails, telephone numbers, etc. An apparent deal had been brokered for the sale of this information.

9,000 contacts compromised

In particular, Iliescu Ştefan Virgil was instrumental in initially compromising the brokerage’s data. He had claimed to be an employee of the firm. His infiltration of the company allowed for the theft of most of the data stolen, including information from a plethora of foreign clients, mostly Russian. Upon acquiring this information, all three individuals entered into negotiations to sell the stolen data, including €80,000 for upwards of 9,000 contacts.

This effort was undertaken in parallel with an attempt to elicit a lengthy cache of computer data to an unknown segment of potential suitors earlier this year between January and April 2017. All of this was made possible via a stolen CRM, which effectively housed an entire confidential database that the individuals used to leverage the highest offer.

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Unfortunately, Iliescu Stefan Virgil did succeed in disclosing much of the data to an unknown audience, and undoubtedly to Roşoiu Darie Leone, and Vîlceanu Ionut. Evidence of this scheme surfaced in July 2017, when a prospective client of the brokerage had been contacted – it is unknown if this individual was linked as a potential buyer for the information.

However, it was through this individual that a portion of the data was disclosed, thereby establishing a link back to the brokerage company – the individual then informed the Cypriot group of its intention to sell the information, which proved to be instrumental in bringing the thieves to justice.

DIICOT takes action

Earlier this month, a series of phone calls also proved important in stifling the overall sale of the stole data. Following multiple meetings in Bucharest between Roşoiu Darie Leone, Vîlceanu Ionut and other potential buyers, the DIICOT became aware of the fraudulent activity and apprehended them along with Iliescu Stefan Virgil.

Despite bringing the individuals into custody, a limited part of the database, including 2,200 contacts and confidential data, was successfully sold for a sum of €13.8,000 and paid to all three members of the group. With each individual in custody, a number of domestic searches were undertaken earlier this week, successfully recovering an undisclosed number of data and storage devices, mobile phones, and computer systems.

Consequently, Iliescu Stefan Virgil, Roşoiu Darie Leone, and Vîlceanu Ionut will all be held for a period of thirty days prior to their submission to a Bucharest-based Tribunal to face further action.

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