The Cyber-Criminals Of 2023: A Year In Review


As we bid farewell to another year, it’s time to take a look back at the cyber-criminals who made headlines in 2023. From high-profile busts to notorious hackers, the past year was filled with significant developments in the world of cybercrime.

Key Takeaway

The year 2023 saw significant developments in cybercrime, from high-profile arrests to the activities of notorious hackers. The efforts of law enforcement agencies and the impact of cybercriminal activities continue to shape the landscape of cybersecurity.

Hacker Responsible for 2020 Twitter Breach Sentenced to Prison

Joseph James O’Connor, a member of the hacking group behind the infamous 2020 Twitter breach, has been sentenced to five years in prison. The breach involved hijacking high-profile Twitter accounts to spread a crypto scam, leading to drastic measures by Twitter to rid the hackers from its network.

Ex-Amazon Engineer Pleads Guilty to Crypto Exchange Hacks

Shakeeb Ahmed, a former Amazon employee, pleaded guilty to hacking into a cryptocurrency exchange and stealing millions worth of customers’ crypto. Despite initially offering to return the funds as a bug bounty, Ahmed now faces up to five years in prison and the task of repaying $5 million to victims.

Feds Accuse Mikhail Matveev of ‘Central Figure’ in Ransomware Gang

Mikhail Matveev, a Russian man accused of ransomware attacks, has been labeled a “central figure” in developing and deploying ransomware variants. Despite burning his passport to evade U.S. government charges, Matveev remains out of reach of the authorities, residing in the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad.

North Korean Hackers Target Crypto for Nukes

Hackers from North Korea were active in stealing crypto to fund the regime’s sanctioned nuclear weapons program. Their cyberattacks targeted popular crypto wallets and major crypto projects, with the aim of accumulating funds for the regime’s activities.

Meet the Card Checker Blamed for Massive Credit Card Fraud Scheme

Dennis Gennadievich Kulkov, the mastermind behind Try2Check, a credit card checking operation, earned over $18 million in illicit proceeds. Kulkov remains in Russia and is on the U.S. Secret Service’s most wanted list with a $10 million bounty for information leading to his conviction.

Cybercrime Forum Boss Busted for Hacking, Fraud, and Child Abuse

The administrator of the cybercrime forum BreachForuns, known as Pompompurin, was arrested for computer hacking, wire fraud, and possession of child abuse imagery. The forum was involved in the sale of millions of people’s data, with more than 340,000 active members.

FBI Took a Bite Out of Qakbot, a Mere Setback for the Prolific Malware Gang

The FBI launched Operation Duck Hunt to take down the Qakbot malware, successfully ridding it from infected devices. However, recent infections suggest that the takedown was only a temporary setback for the prolific malware gang.

Teen Hacker Detained Indefinitely Due to Ongoing Risk to the Public

Arion Kurtaj, a teenager accused of involvement with the Lapsus$ hacking group, has been given an indefinite hospital order due to his ongoing risk to the public. His skills and motivation to commit cybercrime led to this decision, and he will remain at a secure hospital until deemed no longer a danger.

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