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Insurance For Cybercriminals, or Giant Sting? 72

Posted by timothy
from the needs-scott-joplin-soundtrack dept.
tsu doh nimh writes "Brian Krebs follows up on a recent Slashdot discussion about a cybercrime gang that is recruiting botmasters to help with concerted heists against U.S. financial institutions. The story looks at the underground's skeptical response to this campaign, which is being led by a criminal hacker named vorVzakone ('thief in law'), who has released a series of videos about himself. vorVzakone also is offering a service called 'insurance from criminal prosecution,' in which miscreants can purchase protection from goons who specialize in bribing or intimidating Russian/Eastern European police into scuttling cybercrime investigations. For $100,000, the service also claims to have people willing to go to jail in place of the insured. Many in the criminal underground view the entire scheme as an elaborate police sting operation."
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Insurance For Cybercriminals, or Giant Sting?

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  • by William Robinson (875390) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @12:49PM (#41597867)
    Long back I heard that in India there are people offering insurance against getting caught by ticket checker. The insured person pays [freakonomics.com] money in advance and travels without ticket, and when caught pays fine and the amount is reimbursed.
  • Re:Mystery solved! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ciderbrew (1860166) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @01:00PM (#41597973)
    As pedants go it was the most informative I've seen. It pointed out something was wrong (the unhelpful standard). But this pedant told the person A) why it was wrong and b) provided examples. I wish I hads me this at school. It is a handy level of pedant. To whom is may concern. Thanks.
  • Sting operation (Score:5, Interesting)

    by girlintraining (1395911) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @01:03PM (#41598019)

    This isn't a sting operation. Law enforcement would not be that obvious; They prefer to infiltrate, get close to the people at the top, gather intelligence, and then orchestrate mass-busts shortly after extracting their operatives. The whole point of undercover work is to not get noticed in the wrong way -- making stupid and risky suggestions for criminal enterprise could get them hurt or killed before they gathered the intelligence they were sent in to acquire.

    No, fortunately for us, this is most likely stupidity on a grand and delusional scale. The person behind this is most likely in his 20s, single, male, above-average intelligence, spend his childhood poor, regular access to computers and public education, an interest in engineering/programming, and has some idea about "getting it all back" either for himself or his family. He may have started out with smaller crimes -- credit card theft, fraud, etc. He probably has a juvenile record from learning the ropes, and that record brought him into contact with more experienced adults. He smartened up and graduated to computer crime.

    There, he honed his programming and engineering skills somewhat (self-taught), and channeled his anger over perceived societal injustice from his teenage years into scams and computer fraud; "They hurt me, I hurt them back ten times worse!" Given his poor track record with crime before, and his sudden 'success' at it now, he quickly developed an exaggerated sense of his abilities and like many young males, now considers himself 'invulnerable'. This latest example simply underscores the extent of his delusional thinking -- and others who are more cautious and experienced don't see that, instead misattributing it to "the police", due to healthy levels of paranoia that permeate the criminal underground.

    Anyway, these types of criminals usually self-destruct within a few years of reaching this critical mass of delusional thinking. If he's "lucky" (I use the word lightly; Obviously, it would be better if he were caught and got help) and isn't caught, he'll take the rejection from his criminal peers as further evidence that the world hates him, and become further isolated as he continues what has now in his mind become a one man crusade against the evil empire. The core attributes of this person is a sense of persecution, intelligence, creativity, and he may be schizo-affective, the key trait here being blunted affect (his emotions seem subdued externally, but may have a very rich internal fantasy world to compensate).

  • Re:Sting operation (Score:3, Interesting)

    by girlintraining (1395911) on Tuesday October 09, 2012 @01:35PM (#41598409)

    Okay, I RTFA after writing this; Some confirmations. "27-year-old Oleg Vsevolodovich Tolstykh from Moscow". Recently purchased a new vehicle, but not something too ostenacious -- suggests he's recently come into some money, especially given his mentioning his "cars, house, and face." The ordering here isn't random -- he's putting status symbols first, which again underscores that he likely came from poverty. The article doesn't say whether the message from the hacker was translated or if he wrote it as-is. If it is the latter case, the abundant use of sentence fragments and run-ons suggests either a poor grasp of the english language, or that his thinking occurs at high speed but is incomplete -- similar things happen when ordinary people take large quantities of stimulants, but in his case may be evidence of an underlying mental affliction.

    I'm only mentioning this because it's very common to find career criminals with mental health problems. The prisons are filled with the mentally ill, and it's my opinion that simply letting them rot is a poor use of society's resources and simply reinforces and deepens any already-existing health problems, so that when they're released they aren't rehabilitated but in fact even more dangerous. I've been a strong supporter of medical care for criminals and more compassionate sentencing -- there's too many people who can be rehabilitated and go on to live normal and productive lives if they're simply put on the right medication and given access to regular therapy.

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