At least three times this year, a Romanian a hacker posed as an eBay customer service representative in a bid to steal sensitive information from Americans who visited the popular auction Web site, says the Washington Post. The man, from a fraud ring controlled by a foreign criminal syndicate, was captured by Romanian police last week with the help of U.S. agents. Justice Department officials cited the case yesterday to sound an alarm about a resurgence in organized crime that recognizes no national borders.
The new breed of criminals is “more sophisticated, they are richer, they have greater influence over government and political institutions worldwide, and they are savvier about using the latest technology, first to perpetrate and then to cover up their crimes,” said Attorney General Michael Mukasey. Officials said criminal elements were attempting to penetrate the energy sector, furnish weapons to terrorists, and wreak havoc on the U.S. economy by using computers and shell companies to launder money and sell phony goods. The Justice Department Organized Crime Council has held regular briefings for the first time in 15 years to forge a new strategy; 120 prosecutors and FBI agents and analysts are working on organized crime issues.