Five individuals have been added to the FBI’s Cyber Most Wanted list for their roles in domestic and international hacking and fraud crimes collectively involving hundreds of thousands of victims and tens of millions of dollars in losses, according to FBI officials.
The new fugitives on the FBI’s Cyber Most Wanted list are:
- Pakistani nationals Farhan Arshad and Noor Aziz Uddin, wanted for their alleged involvement in an international telecommunications hacking scheme. Between 2008 and 2012, the pair gained unauthorized access to business telephone systems, resulting in losses exceeding $50 million. Arshad and Uddin are part of an international criminal ring that the FBI believes extends into Pakistan, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, Spain, Singapore, Italy, Malaysia and elsewhere.
- Carlos Perez-Melara, wanted for a variety of cyber crimes—including running a fraudulent website in 2003 that offered customers a way to “catch a cheating lover.” Those who took the bait downloaded spyware that secretly installed a program on their computers that allowed scammers to steal the victims’ identities and personal information.
- Syrian national Andrey Nabilevich Taame, wanted for his alleged role in Operation Ghost Click, a malware scheme that compromised more than four million computers in more than 100 countries between 2007 and October 2011. According to reports, there were at least 500,000 victims in the United States alone.
- Russian national Alexsey Belan, wanted for allegedly remotely accessing the computer networks of three U.S.-based companies in 2012 and 2013 and stealing sensitive data as well as employees’ identities.
In announcing the new fugitive list, Executive Assistant Director of our Criminal, Cyber, Response, and Services Branch Richard McFeely said, “Throughout its history, the FBI has depended on the public’s help and support to bring criminals to justice. That was true in the gangster era, and it’s just as true in the cyber era.” He added, “We need the public’s help to catch these individuals who have made it their mission to spy on and steal from our nation and our citizens.”
The FBI’s Most Wanted program is best known for its Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list. The Top Ten list was established more than six decades ago and has become a symbol of the Bureau’s crime-fighting ability around the world. The FBI also highlights other wanted fugitives such as serial killers, terrorists, white-collar criminals, and increasingly, those who commit cyber crimes. The FBI leads the national effort to investigate high-tech crimes, including cyber-based terrorism, espionage, computer intrusions, and major cyber fraud.
The expansion of the Cyber’s Most Wanted list is a reflection of the FBI’s increased efforts in this area, said Mcfeely.
“The cyber fugitives we seek have caused significant losses to individuals and to our economy,” Mcfeely explained. “And cyber crime continues to pose a significant threat to our national security.”
Anyone with information about any of the five individuals mentioned above, or the other fugitives on the Cyber Most Wanted list is urged to contact your local FBI office or the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.