Authorities in the investigation of organized crime in Rumania have arrested Liviu Mihail Concioiu on suspicion of a major phishing attack on eBay and other entities. The investigation, which has been going on since May 2009, was conducted in collaboration with U.S. Embassy agents in Bucharest, as well as internal eBay security staffers.
According to the reports, Concioiu used more than one phishing attack on eBay’s files to access confidential information about both employees and customers. Basically, the scammer sent phishing emails to more than 3,000 people and succeeded in getting passwords to the financial data banks of some of eBay’s ‘high end’ customers. They also broke into and disrupted eBay’s auction marketplace, and the total cost of the attacks has been estimated at more than $3 million, or £1.9 million
In another phishing scam, Concioiu and as yet unnamed accomplices managed to withdraw more than $400,000 from bank teller machines in Italy by creating fake bank cards with data stolen from user accounts.
Spear phishing, as this type of targeted cyber crime has come to be known, is certainly not unusual, but eBay spokesmen said that the arrest constitutes a major victory against fraud and theft on the Internet. They said that the company is working closely with law enforcement agencies worldwide to protect their customers and to uncover and prosecute phishers and other thieves who threaten the user community.