Joshua Polloso Epifaniou broke a record by becoming the first Cyprus citizen to be extradited to the United States. Epifanious has been a “busy” man with countless charges labeled against him.
One of the Cypriots’ charges alleges that he worked with an inside-man at an “SEO company” located in Glendale, California; between October 2016 and May 2017.
Epifanious and his associate identified companies that wanted to pay to get their complaints wiped off from Ripoff Report’s Website.
Allegedly, Epifanious and his associate gained illegal access to Ripoff’s database and charged SEO Company’s clients roughly $3,000-$5,000 for each deleted complaint.
The attack didn’t end there. The cybercriminal went ahead to blackmail the Arizona company for the sum of $90,000 or publish confidential data. An earlier indictment between October 2014 and November 2016 alleges that Epifanious was a member of a threat group that functioned using ransomware.
Some of the companies attacked include a New York Hardware company, a free online-based publisher based in California, Turner Broadcasting System, a sports need website based in Atlanta, Georgia, an online employment website headquartered in Virginia, etc. The companies were defrauded of $56,850 in Bitcoin and an extra $530,000 in remediation cost.
Each company had one thing in common: the breached database. Epifanious and his cohorts gained unwarranted access to the databases, mainly the company’s personal identifying information (PII), and held the data for ransom.
Epifanious has two separate counts of indictments; a five-count indictment filed in the Northern District of Georgia, which charges him with extortion related to a protected computer; identity theft, wire fraud, conspiracy to commit computer fraud, and conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
And a 24-count indictment filed in the District of Arizona, with charges of computer hacking; obtaining information from a protected computer, intentions damage to a protected computer, and threatening to damage a protected computer.
The 21-year old who is a resident of Nicosia, and wanted in two US. States was arrested in Cyprus back in February 2018. He arrived at the John F. Kennedy Airport in New York on July 17 and is scheduled to appear before the US Magistrate Judge Alan Baverman in the Northern District of Georgia.