The Washington Post ran a story on a detained Ukrainian politico by the name of Dmitry Ivanovich Golubov. The 24-year-old Golubov, who ran for a public post under the Internet Party of Ukraine, was charged with credit and debit card information theft that has resulted in millions of dollars in losses for several financial institutions over several years.
Golubov was quick to deny his involvement in any cybercrime activities and maintained that he was framed by the FBI. For their part, U.S. Federal investigators claim that Golubov ranks among the big guns of online fraud forum Carderplanet.com. Several individuals have also come forward and confirmed Golubov’s online criminal activities, including his alleged partner-in-crime Roman Vega, a.k.a. BOA.
But if Golubov is to be believed, he is allegedly a victim of identity theft. An online posting of his passport came with a note that says:
“I Dmitry Golubov, leading hacker, I hack banks, but I have nothing to fear because the police with me at the same time, and in order for you to believe me that I am not afraid I show you my passport, as well as my home address and home phone.”
He attests that someone must have gotten his passport and scanned it, citing that it is ridiculous for a cyber criminal to actually announce online that he is one. A raid by federal authorities in his home that led to his arrest failed to show material evidence of his involvement in cybercrime. However, investigators argue that he had sufficient time to destroy all pertinent and incriminating data from his computer hard drive. Golubov’s apartment uses a steel door as an entrance, and agents had to cut a hole on the adjacent wall to get in, giving him the much-needed extra time.
Investigators also found a portable electromagnetic pulse generator, known as Raskat in Russian. They believe Golubov used it to remotely destroy all data on his hard drive before or even during the conduct of the raid. Golubov says otherwise, and holds one of the agents responsible by mistaking the Raskat for a remote car key. The agent had pressed it over and over to try to locate Golubov’s car but, instead, erased his computer hard drive in the process.
Golubov has since been out on bail after spending six months in a Kiev prison. This crybercrime-slash-political drama is clearly far from being a closed book as both parties are adamant in pursuing their cases. Whether Golubov’s criminal activities have a grain of truth or not, this just goes to show how cybercrime is turning more professional and organized nowadays—like something straight out of a Mario Puzo novel.