A pair of Romanians accused of an international hacking and identity theft conspiracy were extradited from Romania to the United States on Friday to face 31 criminal charges in federal court.
Teodor Laurentiu Costea, 41, and Robert Codrut Dumitrescu, 40, allegedly installed interactive voice response software on vulnerable computers as part of a phone scamming plot pretending to make calls from financial institutions in order to steal account numbers, PINs, and Social Security numbers from victims.
The Justice Department’s announcement on the extradition characterize the tactics as “vishing” and “smishing” — phishing by voice and text messages respectively.
Costea and Dumitrescu then allegedly sold the information. American officials estimate the losses from the scheme amount to over $18 million.
The U.S. government has extradited a number of criminals tied to cybercrime in the past few months. In March, the Justice Department extradited Yevgeniy Nikulin from the Czech Republic. Nikulin was allegedly tied to breaches at LinkedIn, Dropbox and Formspring.
In February, Spain extradited Russian hacker Peter Levashov to the United States for his alleged role in a massive botnet that pumped out a torrent of spam emails for profit.