I Was a Cybercrook for the FBI

Interesting Wired.com article about cybercrooks:

By the time David Thomas eased his Cadillac into the parking lot of an office complex in Issaquah, Washington, he already suspected the police were on to him.

An empty Crown Victoria in one of the parking spaces confirmed it. “That’s heat right there,” he told his two passengers — 29-year-old girlfriend Bridget Trevino, and his crime partner Kim Marvin Taylor, a balding, middle-aged master of fake identities he’d met on the internet.

It was November 2002, and Thomas, then a 44-year-old Texan, was in Washington to collect more than $30,000 in merchandise that a Ukrainian known as “Big Buyer” ordered from Outpost.com with stolen credit card numbers. His job was to collect the goods from a mail drop, fence them on eBay and wire the money to Russia, pocketing 40 percent of the take before moving to another city to repeat the scam.

But things didn’t go as planned.

Thus was the beginning of Thomas’ turn to the other side. For 18 months beginning in April 2003, Thomas worked as a “paid asset” for the FBI running a website for identity and credit card thieves from a government-supplied apartment in the tony Queen Anne neighborhood of Seattle.

From bedrise to bedrest, seven days a week, he rode the boards and forums of his and other carding sites using the online nickname El Mariachi. He recorded private messages and IRC chats for the FBI as “carders” schemed to, among other things, sell stolen credit and debit card numbers, defraud the George Bush and John Kerry campaign sites, drain hundreds of thousands of dollars from bank and investment accounts, sell access to Paris Hilton’s T-Mobile account and run phishing scams against U.S. Bank and the FDIC. He did it all while battling denial-of-service attacks against his site and dodging attempts by his old partner Taylor and other carders to track his whereabouts and out him as a fed.

Continue reading…

About Kevin

Kevin Jarnot is a technologist who lives just South of Boston, MA. He is currently employed as Chief Technology Officer at DebtX, a financial services technology company based in Boston.
This entry was posted in Interesting. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply