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ATLANTA, Ga. — He lived in a world of anonymity. Going by the screen name “IcyEagle” he hid in the deep web.
But now Aaron Glende has been exposed as an alleged hacker.
The Winona, Minn. man was arrested by Atlanta-based FBI agents, charged with bank fraud and identity theft.
According to a federal indictment obtained by 11Alive News, Glende hacked into SunTrust customer’s accounts, stole their passwords and then sold that information to the highest bidder. The FBI found his ads on the exchange site AlphaBay, which is like a criminal’s version of Amazon.
“The threat posed by cyber criminals is a persistently increasing problem for everyday citizens here in the U.S. and abroad,” J. Britt Johnson, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI field office said in a press release.
“This isn’t just people in their parent’s basements, this is much more sophisticated than that,” said Yacin Nadji, a post doctoral researcher at Georgia Tech who specializes in Cyber Security.
Nadji explained how an alleged hacker like Glende would be able to hack into your accounts. In this case, it started with a virus you unknowingly downloaded from a malicious email.
“This is running on your machine, so when you access your SunTrust, or Bank of America bank account, it sees what you type in, username and password. So, in that case, even if you changed your password, the next time you logged in they have your information again,” Nadji said.
The Georgia Tech researcher suggests updating anti-virus software as often as possible. He also mentioned how many banking sites now have two-step verification options which are helpful in cutting down fraud.
Glende allegedly advertised he had high balance SunTrust accounts with upwards of $150,000 available. The FBI bought one of the accounts then tracked him down and arrested him.