Moldovan National Operating E-Root Cybercrime Marketplace Sentenced to 42 Months in Federal Prison

Sandu Boris Diaconu, a Moldovan national aged 31, has been sentenced to 42 months in federal prison by the U.S. District Court for the conspiracy of committing access device and computer fraud and for possessing 15 or more unauthorized access devices. Diaconu was the operator of the E-Root cybercrime marketplace.

The U.S. Department of Justice stated that Diaconu had operated a series of websites used to sell access to compromised computers worldwide, including servers belonging to U.S. companies and individuals. He was arrested in May 2021 while attempting to leave the United Kingdom and was extradited to the United States on October 13, 2023. He had previously pleaded guilty to the charges on December 1, 2023.

The E-Root marketplace allowed buyers to search for credentials granting access to remote computers worldwide to steal sensitive data or manipulate the contents stored on the remote computer. The platform enabled buyers to search for specific criteria, such as price, geographic location, internet service provider, and operating system. Payments on the marketplace were made through cryptocurrency and an online payment system called Perfect Money.

The DoJ noted that over 350,000 credentials were advertised for sale on the marketplace, with victims belonging to multiple industries and sectors, including at least one local government agency in Tampa. The marketplace also offered stolen credentials linked to stolen identity tax fraud schemes, with many ransomware operations also targeting victims from the marketplace.

This sentencing serves as a reminder of the serious consequences associated with cybercrime and fraud. With cybercrime becoming an increasingly lucrative and seemingly impactful avenue for malicious actors, this sentencing sentiment hopes to deter potential cybercriminals.

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