Tuesday, October 27, 20:53
Home security A Cypriot hacker was extradited to the US for the attack on the Ripoff Report

A Cypriot hacker was extradited to the US for the attack on the Ripoff Report

Cypriot hacker

A hacker, Cypriot citizen, has been issued on USA to deal with allegations concerning hacking attack at the review portal Ripoff Report, the realization extortion and sale access to its backend website.

The man, by name Joshua Polloso Epifaniou, 21 years old, and a resident of Nicosia, arrived in the USA on Friday and will be before the judge today.

Η hacking attack on Ripoff Report

According court documents, the American authorities believe that the Cypriot hacker realized brute-force attack to obtain the credentials of an Ripoff Report employee in October 2016.

The Cypriot hacker then collaborated with a company SEO to remove bad reviews from the Ripoff Report site for the clients of the SEO company.

"Epifaniou and his partner removed at least 100 complaints from the base data "ROR, charging the SEO company clients about $ 3.000 to $ 5.000 for the removal of each complaint," said the US Department of Justice.

The researchers reported that when a local bank of Cyprus blocked the payments of the partner to the hacker, the two of them arranged the extradition fake invoices from SEO company to justify bank transfers to Epifaniou.

Court documents did not settle Epifaniou's associate, but an investigation claims the Cypriot hacker collaborated with Pierre Zarokian, the founder of the company Submit Express.

Epifaniou emailed Ripoff Report CEO in November 2016, trying to blackmail the company while removing bad reviews from its database.

According to investigators, the Cypriot hacker asked $ 90.000 within 48 hours by the CEO, threatening to leak the database to Internet, in case it was not paid.

When he did not receive a response from the CEO, the hacker sent again e-mail with a video showing him accessing his (CEO) account.

The FBI An investigation into the violations was launched in 2017 and the CEO of Submit Express was arrested in 2018 and pleaded guilty earlier this year.

Ripoff Report

Other hacking attacks

In addition to the violation and blackmail in the Ripoff Report, the Cypriot hacker is also accused of violating other sites (October 2014-November 2016).

To blackmail the victims, Epifaniou used two techniques:

  • Use it security flaws to hack sites and steal users' data
  • Bought data users of target sites by others hackers and then used them to blackmail the victims into paying a ransom.


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