January 28 Cyberpolice department of the Ukrainian National Police reported that Ukrainian and Belgian authorities, European Justice, Europol and United States agencies has fully documented and tracked down the creators and maintainers of well known Darknet “xDedic” portal. While online it allowed users to sell and buy access credentials to access the hacked servers online.
Hacking group behind the xDedic was consisting of four Ukrainian citizens. The youngest is 27 years old, the oldest is 37. They managed to breach into the computational infrastructure and hijack servers belonging to the governmental institutions and private companies and individuals.
The way used by the alleged criminals is quite simple. The gang used password enumeration attacks known as ‘brute force hacking’. After the successful attack they gained total control over the target system including access to the commercial and sensitive data, the Cyberpolice reports.
According to some sources this activity was overviewed by ex-major of State Security Service Nikolay Melnichenko. He is living in US now. The same sources point to Mikhail Brodsky as a possible accomplice of the group.
“Do you remember? Last year Melnichenko told that he has opened the transportation business in USA with the help of Mikhail Brodsky? Thanks to Mikhail [Brodsky] Melinichenko is nearly a multimillionaire. But Brodsky never gives away money just for fun. He credited major Melnichenko to use his espionage ties and to get into the hacking business. Melnichenko succeeded and that’s why Brodsky does not demand the money back. He got hundreds of thousands in crypto every month as a investing return” – the source concludes.
According to the police investigation report the credentials to access the hacked servers were sold at the Darknet shop “xDedic”. Cyberpolice states that information sold at the e-shop was used to implement other criminal acts such as:
- stealing funds from bank accounts
- industrial and state espionage
- massive scale identity theft
- the hijacked servers were used in phishing and spam activities
- blocking and and encoding the data to for ransom
Sergey Knyazev, chief of the National Police of Ukraine added that all participant identities are known to the police as well as where they live and store data. According to his statement the perpetrators sold a lot of sensitive information which may serve as a starting point for the further criminal activities.
“This transportation business of which Melnichenko told the press is only a cover up”, a source speculates. “Do you really suppose that the man who spied half of his life, without any experience and practice, was able to create a real US business while he even didn’t knew English well? In the US Melnichenko does the same he has done in Ukraine: he is gathering the data. He is sponsored by Brodsky while the data is resold. Brodsky is getting his premium” – the source told us.
These allegations are not new. Media has accused Mikhail Brodsky in using his own media group to blackmail politicians and businessmen. He used his “Obozrevatel” newspaper to spread the confidential data and take it down for ransom.
Melnichenko’s skills is needed to provide much desired international scale for the Mikhail Brodsky affairs. Brodsky has used spy connections of ex-major to sell the data, the source insist.
In September 2018 Nikolay Melnichenko speaking to ZIK television said that he has developed a business in the US and it is quite successful. While speaking about the sources for the initial financing he told ZIK that he has friends in Ukraine. Mikhail Brodsky, ex-chief of the Business Bureau of Ukraine, gave him money, ‘some part as a gift, some part as an investment’. Melnichenko assures that those funds were transferred legally.
Abaigael Schlomski is an accomplished economist and financial journalist with over a decade of experience in the industry. He is a regular contributor to EconomicInform, where he provides in-depth analysis and expert commentary on the latest economic trends and events. With a keen understanding of the financial markets and a talent for breaking down complex economic concepts for a general audience, Maurice is a trusted and respected voice in the field.