Two central Pa. men accused of being couriers in computer hacking scheme | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker

WILLIAMSPORT — Two central Pa. men have been accused of being couriers in a computer fraud scheme that resulted in central Pennsylvania residents paying at least $316,300 under false pretenses.

Yankun Jiang and Hanlin Yang, both 23 of State College, were indicted Tuesday by a U.S. Middle District Court grand jury on a conspiracy to commit wire fraud charge.

Victims of the conspiracy would receive on their computer screen a “pop-up” purportedly from Microsoft stating their device had been hacked. A telephone number was provided to call.

The indictment states this is what occurred if the instructions were followed:

Callers were connected to a member of the conspiracy who provided false information including there was a problem with the person’s bank account, it was not secure and money needed to be transferred from it.

Victims would be directed to withdraw cash and would continue to receive phone calls providing various false reasons to make cash withdrawals and transfer funds.

They were told not to share information given to them by conspirators and to provide bank officials false information such as “home remodeling” as the reason for the large withdrawals.

Victims were provided a code word that a “federal agent” or “federal marshal” would use when they arrived at their home to pick up the cash to ensure its safekeeping.

Couriers, who were paid for their services, used Telegram messenger to communicate with each other, to provide victims’ addresses and to confirm pickups.

They were instructed to park a distance from a victim’s residence to avoid identification of their vehicle.

Jiang and Yang are accused of being among the couriers who posed as “agents” or “marshals” to pick up the money throughout the Middle District.

Money collected from victims was taken to Jiang’s residence in State College where it was held until forwarded, the charge states.

In October, Renze Luo, 23, was charged by Lycoming Regional Police in Lycoming County.

He is accused of being the “federal agent” who went to a home in rural Lycoming County to pick up money from a couple who had called the number after getting the message their computer had been hacked. The code word in their case was “black.”

The husband became suspicious and did not turn over a box of money. Another individual was on the phone with the couple when police arrived trying to convince them to turn over the money.

Lycoming Regional Police investigated a similar incident in July in which a woman gave money to an Asian male who came to her home. He claimed he did not have any identification but allowed her to take his picture.

The federal indictment contains a clause that would require Jiang and Yang to forfeit $316,300 if convicted.

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