The U.S Department of Justice announced that there has been the largest data breach in the history of U.S done by two Vietnamese men, one of whom who has pleaded guilty, as they hacked eight U.S email service providers and stole 1 billion email addresses along with other classified information.
In a statement given by Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell said that the attacks which were carried out during the period February 2009 to June 2012 caused a data breach of names email addresses so large that it is the largest ever breach in the history of the internet. The defendants were responsible for sending spam emails millions of users after the emails have been snatched and thereby making USD 2 million according to DOJ.
The DOJ also said that Viet Quoc Nguyen, 28, of Vietnam was found to have hacked into email service providers robbing proprietary marketing data consisting of more than 1 billion email addresses. The data was then used by him and Giang Hoang Vu, 25, of Vietnam as well to send spam emails.
On Thursday, the indictments of the attackers were revealed. In the U.S District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Vu pleaded guilty of committing computer fraud.
The Dutch Law enforcement arrested Vu in 2012 and deported him to the U.S. last year. He will be sentenced by April 21. However, Nguyen is still at large.
Also, it was revealed by the federal guard, in addition to the indictments of these two men, the indictment against a Canadian citizen who is alleged to have laundered the proceeds attained through the data breach.
David-Manuel Santos Da Silva, 33, of Montreal was accused of committing money laundering so as to help Nguyen and Vu to produce money from the spam messages and launder the revenue.
The court documents say that Da Silva was the co-owner of 21 Celsius which is a Canadian company running an e-commerce site Marketbay.com. It is believed that Da Sliva arranged for affiliate marketing with Nguyen which gave the defendants the opportunity to make money through the breach.
Apparently, Nguyen made money by getting a commission on sales that were caused due to internet traffic being redirected through his spam email to websites that sold products.
According to the DOJ, Nguyen’s affiliate marketing techniques between May 2009 and October 2011 allowed him and Da Silva to make around $2 million from the sale of products done as such.