22 September 2016
A member of an international cyber crime collective was jailed for two years today following an investigation by the National Crime Agency.
Nazariy Markuta, 23, of Harlesden, London, was a member of the D33Ds Company network, which in 2012 was responsible for illegally obtaining more than 450,000 customer email addresses and passwords from a major Silicon Valley firm.
The group posted a link to the email addresses and passwords on the D33Ds Company online forum set up and administered by Markuta.
After conducting its own investigation and working in conjunction with the FBI, the NCA identified Markuta as a key contributor to the group’s crimes through his activities on the website.
He was arrested by officers from the NCA’s National Cyber Crime Unit at his home in North-West London in March 2015 (below right), when he was further found to have thousands of items of credit and debit card data in his possession.
NCA officers also discovered that between 2012 and 2014, Markuta had stolen data from a digital games reseller and SMS messaging service, causing losses of tens of thousands of pounds.
He used a technique called MySQL injection to exploit the vulnerabilities of the websites he targeted, forcing them to give up large quantities of data.
Markuta had pleaded guilty to two offences under the Serious Crime Act 2007, three offences under the Computer Misuse Act 1990 and three offences under the Fraud Act 2006.
He was sentenced to a total of 11 years and 3 months, to run concurrently, at Southwark Crown Court, meaning he will serve a maximum of two years in prison.
Luke Wyllie, senior investigator at the NCA’s National Cyber Crime Unit, said: “Data theft and hacking aren’t victimless crimes or an online hobby. These acts cause financial and reputational damage to businesses and rob their clients of the security they expect and deserve online.
“The NCA continues to identify and pursue serious cyber criminals, however technologically proficient they may be.
“Markuta’s convictions are likely to have a significant impact on his future and we urge other young people with an interest in computers to consider how they can use their skills in ways that benefit themselves and others.”
Some options for young people to develop and use cyber skills positively can be found here: http://www.nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk/crime-threats/cyber-crime/cyber-crime-preventing-young-people-from-getting-involved
Photos of the arrest can be accessed via the NCA's Flickr page.