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A How-Not-To Guide to Cyber-Extortion

CmdrTaco posted more than 10 years ago | from the he-doesn't-trust-cash dept.

It's funny.  Laugh. 311

TexasDex writes "The Register reports: Myron Tereshchuk, 42, of Maryland, pleaded guilty to "attempted extortion affecting commerce" for sending threatening messages to a competing patent firm, including a demand for $17 million in exchange for not revealing sensitive information. He was clever in hiding his tracks, the messages came from two different homes and a dentist's office, all of which turned out to be running unsecured WAPs. He also avoided a web bug sent by the firm, and managed to penetrate the company's computer system. But he made a few mistakes. First of all he was already a prime suspect due to "past altercations between Tereshchuk and the company". But "the clearest sign came when he issued the $17m extortion demand, and instructed the company to 'make the check payable to Myron Tereshchuk.'""

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nbmh (1)

Ads are broken (718513) | more than 10 years ago | (#9542976)

fgfff!

Darwinian criminal behaviour ... (4, Funny)

Space cowboy (13680) | more than 10 years ago | (#9542980)


There's a TV show broadcast over here in the UK (on some of the cable channels) "America's Dumbest Criminals" - guess this guy'll be on soon enough. I have to admit I thought a lot of the stories were made up, but if people are going to sign their REAL NAME to an extortion demand, sheesh, perhaps people *can* be that stupid.

Well, on the up-side, it at least frees the cops' time up so they can catch criminals with at least 1 brain cell. Let's hope the feedback loop stays negative...

Simon.

Re:Darwinian criminal behaviour ... (4, Interesting)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 10 years ago | (#9543052)

This reminds me of two other cases:

The guy who robs the bank but drops his wallet (with ID inside)

The guy who writes a bank robbery note on the back of his own checking account deposit slip.

And yes, both are true stories. Its probably a Good Thing(tm) that most criminals are incredibly stupid.

Re:Darwinian criminal behaviour ... (4, Funny)

betelgeuse-4 (745816) | more than 10 years ago | (#9543093)

There's always the guy who robbed a Post Office wearing a motorbike helmet with a black visor. Unfortunately for him it failed to hide his identity because his name was written across the forehead.

Re:Darwinian criminal behaviour ... (5, Informative)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 10 years ago | (#9543183)

and the guy who rubbed fresh lemons on his face before robbing a bank because someone told him that if you did that, the cameras could not pick up your image. True story according to "news of the weird", a syndicated feature found in many independent newspapers here in the US. They have stories like this all the time.

News of the Weird [newsoftheweird.com] can be found here. Its a very good weekly read that has tons of these exact type of stories.

...and his blood type, too? (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 10 years ago | (#9543377)

That would make it easier to give him a transfusion after the shoot-out.

Re:Darwinian criminal behaviour ... (1)

k4rm4_p0l7c3 (583281) | more than 10 years ago | (#9543662)

I've seen a FEW clips of criminals trying to yank portable ATMs out of convenience stores w/their trucks only to leave the scene emptyhanded, minus a bumper and a license plate

d'oh!

Re:Darwinian criminal behaviour ... (5, Informative)

ornil (33732) | more than 10 years ago | (#9543166)

Well, there's a pretty extensive web column with a few new cases each week, called Dumb Crooks [dumbcrooks.com] . Those cases you mention are there, plus hundreds of others. Pretty amusing read.

Why one shouldn't believe (0, Troll)

vijaya_chandra (618284) | more than 10 years ago | (#9543380)

an editor/writer that posts an article with a title like 'A How-Not-To guid to cyber-extortion'

Dumb Criminals June21st [dumbcrooks.com]

Re:Darwinian criminal behaviour ... (5, Funny)

Zorilla (791636) | more than 10 years ago | (#9543168)

What about the guy who robbed the convenience store and the clerk lady says, "I don't think you look old enough to be robbing a store, young man. I need to see some identification."

So the guy pulls out his driver's license and shows it to her. Haha.

most CAUGHT criminal are incredibly stupid (4, Insightful)

aepervius (535155) | more than 10 years ago | (#9543180)

But as the stupid one are caught you are left with the intelligent mastermind, which will enjoy their million extorqued. "Darwnism", if I may use the analogy at its best.

Not all criminals are dumb (5, Insightful)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 10 years ago | (#9543433)

Only the dumb criminals get caught. The authorities don't even know the smart criminals are committing crimes, let alone catching them.

Re:Darwinian criminal behaviour ... (4, Funny)

TheLink (130905) | more than 10 years ago | (#9543448)

Try this Darwin Award nominee [darwinawards.com] .

Wrong time, wrong place, wrong everything...

Re: Darwinian criminal behaviour ... (-1, Redundant)

Jonathan Quince (737041) | more than 10 years ago | (#9543527)

I always liked the story about the would-be robber who walked past a police car parked outside and went in to hold up a gun shop.

This, where the guy behind the counter and several customers (including the driver of the aforementioned cop car, who was in there shopping for hardware related to professional duties) were all lawfully armed. (Yes, some states allow this.)

Cases like these kind of add new depth to the idea of natural selection.

Not that uncommon (1)

einhverfr (238914) | more than 10 years ago | (#9543766)


There's a TV show broadcast over here in the UK (on some of the cable channels) "America's Dumbest Criminals" - guess this guy'll be on soon enough. I have to admit I thought a lot of the stories were made up, but if people are going to sign their REAL NAME to an extortion demand, sheesh, perhaps people *can* be that stupid.


Actually it is not that uncommon. One of the most common mistakes bank robbers make is to write down the demands on the backs of their deposit slips....

sounds similar (0, Redundant)

L. VeGas (580015) | more than 10 years ago | (#9542996)

This reminds me of the classic story (urban legend?) of the bank robber that wrote a robbery note on one of his deposit slips.

Re:sounds similar (1)

Caradoc (15903) | more than 10 years ago | (#9543247)

That one was reported by Chuck Shepherd's News of the Weird, [newsoftheweird.com] and he's generally pretty good about checking his sources.

Re:sounds similar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9543694)

he's generally pretty good about checking his sources.

He hardly does any checking.

Is everything in News of the Weird true?
The truth is, I don't know. I don't report stories, myself; everything comes from a professional reporter, presumably with a professional editor, at a legitimate news organization, and I verify that the story was in fact published there on a certain date.

What's (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9543681)

a robbery note!?!

Re:sounds similar (1)

ashlux (791540) | more than 10 years ago | (#9543828)

It recently happened in Tulsa, OK (with a withdrawl slip rather than deposit). See the Google cache [66.102.7.104] .

I request all my extortion checks... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9542999)

...be made out to Amanda Huginkiss.

Re:I request all my extortion checks... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9543074)

Not to be confused with Homer Sexual...

Re:I request all my extortion checks... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9543167)

Or Hugh Jass.

Let's get this over with (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9543190)

Mike Rotch, Dick Fitzwell, Richard Cranium, Richard Dragon, Peter Dragon, Richard Cumming, Hugh Johnson, Jack Hoff...

Re:Let's get this over with (5, Funny)

macthulhu (603399) | more than 10 years ago | (#9543393)

"Jack Hoff"... That takes me back. There was a local cop in my home town whose last name was Knouff. In his off duty time, he was a heavy drug user and mall cop, in that order. In junior high, we always called him Jack. Being sort of a failed body builder/wannabe stud/ scumbag type, he was usually hitting on high school girls who would then laugh at him and continue teasing him after we left. After a while, there must have been hundreds of kids doing this to him. Years later, I heard he had some kind of meltdown drunk and on duty at the mall where he beat the crap out of a 15 year old. Turns out his real name was Ralph, which I'm not sure was really any better. I wonder whatever happened to old Officer Jack Knouff? Now that it I'm thinking of it, the police chief here was named Richard Reems... I'm starting to think my hometown was run by the cast of a gay porn movie...

Make mine to Darl McBride (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 10 years ago | (#9543331)

And make sure to send some big cops to get me. I'm likely to resist arrest. I'll deny everything. Better shoot me first, and ask questions later.

Almost as smart... (5, Funny)

Amiga Lover (708890) | more than 10 years ago | (#9543002)

the clearest sign came when he issued the $17m extortion demand, and instructed the company to 'make the check payable to Myron Tereshchuk.

Almost as smart as this guy [wftv.com] - "A man who walked into a Wal-Mart covered in blood and bought garbage bags Friday was charged with murder after authorities found a stabbed body in a trash bin."

Planning people, planning!

Re:Almost as smart... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9543131)

"A man who walked into a Wal-Mart covered in blood and bought garbage bags Friday was charged with murder after authorities found a stabbed body in a trash bin."


Nice try but that's a well known urban legend. It's been debunked on snopes or urbanlegends.com

Re:Almost as smart... (5, Insightful)

jyoull (512280) | more than 10 years ago | (#9543230)

If it's been debunked, that was a mighty fast debunking as the linked story's dated today, only about 2 hours ago, "9:57 am EDT June 27, 2004" .. this one appears to be real, not an urban legend... it names names, lists charges, reports a fight and a knife, bloody sneakers, has a location...

Re:Almost as smart... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9543269)

There's nothing mentioned on Snopes that I can find.

Re:Almost as smart... (4, Insightful)

TotallyUseless (157895) | more than 10 years ago | (#9543625)

Here is a link [cnn.com] to the CNN story on this from yesterday.

Re:Almost as smart... (1)

man_ls (248470) | more than 10 years ago | (#9543692)

It's on the front page of cnn.com today. That makes it a bit more credible.

http://www.cnn.com/2004/US/South/06/26/bloody.su sp ect.ap/index.html

(slashcode will probably put a space in there somewhere.)

GTA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9543710)

Bentley, who also faces charges including grand theft auto, was held without bail at the Collier County Jail.

says the article

Is playing GTA *that* criminal!?!

I will crapflood slashdot (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9543008)

with various posts about CowboyNeal unless /. writes a check, payable to Rob Malda, for $1 million.
Beware!

Rookie mistake (5, Funny)

eln (21727) | more than 10 years ago | (#9543012)

To eliminate himself from suspicion, he should have told them to make the check out to "anybody but Myron Tereshchuk". They would then have everyone in the world BUT him as potential suspects! Brilliant!

Obligatory Family Guy Quote (3, Funny)

Zorilla (791636) | more than 10 years ago | (#9543241)

This guy doesn't sound much better in a pinch than Peter Griffin:

Psych ward clerk: "What's your name, sir?"
Peter: "Umm.....Pee.....ter.............Griffin.....damn! "

Bonus Simpsons quote:
Homer at Post Office (trying to disguise voice): "Hello, my name is Mr. Burns. I believe you have a letter for me"
Post Office employee: "Ok, what's your first name?"
Homer (smugly): "I don't know!

Re:Rookie mistake (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9543281)

Not having the check made out to yourself... ? Brilliant !!!

...but I know that you know that I know... (5, Funny)

Jonathan Quince (737041) | more than 10 years ago | (#9543631)

To eliminate himself from suspicion, he should have told them to make the check out to "anybody but Myron Tereshchuk".

pffft. Amateur.

Everybody knows that only an idiot would ask for the check out to himself; so he could use that as an alibi, since nobody would believe that it was him.

Of course, a truly smart criminal would know that a smart investigator would realize that most people know that you shouldn't ask for the check to be written out to your own real name; so he should not have the check written to his own name. But naturally, a well-trained detective would recommend that possibility and immediately discount the possiblity that the name he demanded to be written on the check was his own name; so he should have used his own name.

But the company he was blackmailing was located in Connecticut, which is kind of like a miniature Australia; and everybody knows that Australia is populated by criminals...

(Ow, I think my head hurts now.)

Re:...but I know that you know that I know... (2, Funny)

schon (31600) | more than 10 years ago | (#9543825)

Of course, a truly smart criminal would know that a smart investigator would realize that most people know that you shouldn't ask for the check to be written out to your own real name; so he should not have the check written to his own name. But naturally, a well-trained detective would recommend that possibility and immediately discount the possiblity that the name he demanded to be written on the check was his own name; so he should have used his own name.

Truly, you have a dazzling intellect. :o)

He should have.. (0)

tmk (712144) | more than 10 years ago | (#9543018)

demanded to be paid in verified AOL email adresses. This currency is rock stable.

You'll never hear about the smart criminals. (5, Insightful)

AltGrendel (175092) | more than 10 years ago | (#9543023)

They never get caught.

Re:You'll never hear about the smart criminals. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9543067)

Really? Is there some statistic on how many crimes remain unsolved? Is it hard to commit a crime and not get caught? I wonder if only those who commit rash hasty crimes get caught... What I'm saying is that if you plan ahead and actually think, use your head, how hard can it actually be?

This is all purely hypothetically speaking.

Ofcourse.

Re:You'll never hear about the smart criminals. (4, Interesting)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 10 years ago | (#9543115)

Really? Is there some statistic on how many crimes remain unsolved?

The vast majority of non-cyber crimes are solved. This is due in part to many crimes being "crimes of opportunity" (no planning) and the fact that most really smart people can get good jobs and understand that most crimes are solved. Also, most crimes that go to court result in conviction (well over 90%).

I worked in the criminal defense field for a while, and from first hand experience, I can tell you that most criminals are not only very stupid, but they seem to think that everyone else is stupid, too. Incompetent people don't realize they are incompetent. There was a British study that demonstrated this a year or two ago.

Re:You'll never hear about the smart criminals. (1)

Monkelectric (546685) | more than 10 years ago | (#9543503)

Also, most crimes that go to court result in conviction (well over 90%).

I would like to tell you about a criminal who wasted a week of my life :)

I got called in for jury duty, and was assigned to a case of a fellow who sent his g/f into a burkes outlet store to steal clothes for him, and then when she was caught, punched out the security guard. There was videotape of the g/f, but none of the punching. To make things worse the guy confessed to the whole thing.

We weren't allowed to know this, but it was pretty obvious this was a 3rd strike case (mandatory life sentence). His defense was, he doesn't understand english, didn't confess (the lawyer claimed the police were lying), and he just saw a guy trying to harass his g/f and tried to help her.

That may or may not have been a good defense, however ... At one point during the trial while he was testifying, the lady who was translating for him got a bit tongue tied, and was behind in the translation. He jumped the gun, and he answered a question *before* the translation arrived -- In perfect english.

The real crime is the defense lawyer wasn't disbarred for suborning perjury.

Re:You'll never hear about the smart criminals. (1)

iamacat (583406) | more than 10 years ago | (#9543703)

I hope the jury showed some humanity, realized that he should get a serious punishment but not a life sentence, and handed it an annulment. By the way, being able to answer one question that was translated for you doesn't mean you know the language and understand what is said in a high-stress situation. Of course his story is unlikely, but how do you know he sent his girlfriend to steal cloth rather than she just decided to do it?

Re:You'll never hear about the smart criminals. (4, Funny)

Michael_Burton (608237) | more than 10 years ago | (#9543142)

I thought the smart criminals became successful politicians. They may not get caught, but unfortunately I hear about 'em all the time.

The biggest criminals... (4, Funny)

infolib (618234) | more than 10 years ago | (#9543670)

...never break the law. They write it.

Re:You'll never hear about the smart criminals (1)

DaRat (678130) | more than 10 years ago | (#9543546)

You mean like the guys at Enron who thought that they were so smart that they could write their own rules and would never get caught?

The smartest criminals (1)

dpilot (134227) | more than 10 years ago | (#9543793)

are those where nobody, even the victim, realizes that a crime has been committed. Brings to mind the old (urban?) legend about a programmer at a bank who had fractional pennies skimmed from everyone's interest payments and added to a special account he'd set up. They caught him because he'd made the special account a nonsense name that would come up last in sort order - dump all fractional interest in the final account. One day, for whatever reason (contest?) they happened to look at the name on that last account, and the suspicion started.

Did they use a trojan or spyware? (4, Insightful)

Shoeler (180797) | more than 10 years ago | (#9543043)

"At one point, the company president tried to use a "Web bug" to trace his cyber tormenter, but Tereshchuk detected the ruse."

Uhh - sounds like they tried to install some kind of activex microblaster-enabled spyware bug?? Maybe he was using Mozilla [mozilla.org] or something less spyware-enabled? ^_^

Still not a bad hack attempt - smart to use others unsecured wireless connections. I'll bet we hear about more of these types of intrusions in the future (if the media prints it).

Re:Did they use a trojan or spyware? (3, Insightful)

krumms (613921) | more than 10 years ago | (#9543122)

Uhh - sounds like they tried to install some kind of activex microblaster-enabled spyware bug??

Chances are it was just a GIF/JPEG image embedded in an e-mail. Your e-mail client downloads the image from a web server to display it and whammo - they have your IP address.

Re:Did they use a trojan or spyware? (1)

vijaya_chandra (618284) | more than 10 years ago | (#9543805)

Exactly the same thing that struck me when I read that

But a smart extortionist would be browsing the net with links/lynx or opera with images turned off

but this guy doesn't seem to be a techie stupid; only a non-digital-real-world stupid

(Stolen sig : The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits.)

Re:Did they use a trojan or spyware? (5, Informative)

Aardpig (622459) | more than 10 years ago | (#9543132)

Uhh - sounds like they tried to install some kind of activex microblaster-enabled spyware bug??

Web bugs work on all web browsers, unless you have image loading disabled. Read about them here [eff.org] , and repeat after me: "I will not be a mindless fanboy. I will not be a mindless fanboy.".

Re:Did they use a trojan or spyware? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9543353)

"I will not be a mindless fanboy. I will not be a mindless fanboy."

Reading /. again, Eugenia?

Re:Did they use a trojan or spyware? (1)

DavidTC (10147) | more than 10 years ago | (#9543663)

Um, no, you're the mindless fanboy.

"Web bugs" images work in all web browsers, true. However, that is insanely stupid for tracking down someone, because if someone is downloading a web page you have control of, duh, you already know their IP. You gave it when they got the page.

So unless they were running a page they knew he'd access on a free provider that they don't have logfile access to, that makes no sense at all. (And that situtation is rather implausible.)

There are two options that makse sense here: Either they tried to hijack his web browser via an Active-X hole, so that it would phone home when attached to a different network (like his home connection), or they tried to put a web bug in his email, so they could see his IP when he checked it. (Apparently not being able or willing to hook up with his email account operators to grab his IP that way.)

And guess what? Either one of those tricks almost certainly requires Microsoft products to work.

Fanboy my ass.

Re:Did they use a trojan or spyware? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9543800)

? you just put it in their email, you n00b. Any web-enabled mail browser will open it.

Why would that require Microsoft products?

Re:Did they use a trojan or spyware? (2, Interesting)

Crudely_Indecent (739699) | more than 10 years ago | (#9543262)

smart to use others unsecured wireless connections

I was recently in an office building in Dallas where I found 7 unsecured wireless connections. Each company had taken the time to change the SSID to match the name of their company, but it seems that encryption was something they didn't want to be bothered with.

I bounced around until I found the one with the fastest internet connection and proceeded to read /. while waiting for my client to arrive.

Web bugs on Mac's as well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9543330)

I currently know of a active web bug that targets Mac OS X to contact a site.

http://forum.folding-community.org/viewtopic.php ?t =8262&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=6 0

Make sure you have your Little Snitch installed or you'll never see it and to block the connection.

So much for Mac OS X security, even Apple leaves a few holes open on purpose.

(up to date Mac OS X 10.3.4 w/security update)

this is why extortion never works (4, Insightful)

Ubergrendle (531719) | more than 10 years ago | (#9543050)

You can make your threats as vauge or specific as you want... you can be ~very~ anonymous given the tools available today (mail, internet, courier, payphone, stolen cellphones).

However, at one point, sooner or later, you need to pickup the cheque or cash. Wire transfers can be traced, as can direct deposits. If there's a cash-only transaction, the cash can be marked and the police can watch the drop point.

Re:this is why extortion never works (4, Interesting)

foidulus (743482) | more than 10 years ago | (#9543089)

If everything happens inside the US, you are right, but you can successfully send money to less than scrupulous parties in certain nations...
I haven't done it myself, but I've read about it being done(not to mention there have been successful Nigerian 419ers).
That being said, after 9/11 it is getting harder, but not impossible, to make fradulent wire transfers.

Re:this is why extortion never works (4, Insightful)

iabervon (1971) | more than 10 years ago | (#9543194)

If an extortion victem is willing to go to the cops, it's already not going to work very well. If catching you is worth the information getting out, then you don't have sufficiently valuable information.

It works sometimes, (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 10 years ago | (#9543261)

Probem is that you never hear of those cases, as the people paying dont want to risk the press release.

Re:this is why extortion never works (3, Insightful)

ChrisGuest (556510) | more than 10 years ago | (#9543282)

Yes, this is why extortion never works, because the extorter never figures out an anonymous way of having money transferred.

But, if the extorter is trying to achieve a behavioural response, such as a political concession, extortion can be higly effective. I guess, though, we refer to in these instances as 'blackmail' rather than 'extortion'.

Re:this is why extortion never works (5, Informative)

GuyFawkes (729054) | more than 10 years ago | (#9543307)


There is an old method that does work and is used for extortion and other purposes...

1/ create bank / building society account in ficticious name with false documents and genuine 500 cash deposit. Make sure account comes with an ATM card.

2/ wait one year while doing the minimum to keep the account active. Do not go near the maildrop you used, but do make sure it is paid up.

3/ Do extortion thing, instruct victim in the following manner...
a/ pay 100,000 into account number xxxx at bank xxx
b/ notify the police if you wish, but be advised that should the account be suspended or frozen in ANY way WHATSOEVER you will simply and without further warning do whatever it was you threatened (eg put HIV+ blood in baby food which was most recent case here that comes to mind) and walk away from the whole deal.

4/ withdraw the money from randomly selected ATM machines over the next year or three, just scout them out first to make sure they aren't covered by security cameras (if they are wear a full face crash helmet) and make sure you have a concealed carry for the card itself, don't wanna get caught with that six months later....

You guys ought to get out more, I'm really surprised that in a diverse forum like this nobody knows about this one...

Re:this is why extortion never works (1)

Esion Modnar (632431) | more than 10 years ago | (#9543384)

Sounds to me like you'd like reading books about a professional criminal named Parker. By Richard Stark (pseudonym of Donald E. Westlake).

Some titles: "Comeback," and "The Outfit." Mostly written in the late 60's, early 70's, and hard to find.

Re:this is why extortion never works (1)

GuyFawkes (729054) | more than 10 years ago | (#9543456)


No, it was old to me by a fellow con while spending a short vacation at one of Her Majesty's Prisons....

Re:this is why extortion never works (1)

ornil (33732) | more than 10 years ago | (#9543544)

It makes sense except for this:
Why is it necessary to wait for one year?

Re:this is why extortion never works (2, Insightful)

beebware (149208) | more than 10 years ago | (#9543776)

I guess in case of security cameras - most places will archive their footage for between 7-30 days, banks may do it for 3-6months, but I doubt any where would archive all daily footage for a year+ "just in case".

Re:this is why extortion never works (2, Informative)

DavidTC (10147) | more than 10 years ago | (#9543812)

I feel compelled to point out that all ATMs are covered by security cameras. Duh. They're built into the ATM. And that pretty much automatically removes drive up ATMs...while you can drive up wearing a helmet, they'll get your car. Some of them have a wide enough angle to get your license plate.

However, yes, any method of payment where you can pick it up from multiple points is much better than a single point of capture. ATMs are very good because there are literally hundreds of them to choose from.

Just don't do something stupid like take a trip across the country and withdraw the money from there, because they will check flight records. And for God's sake, wipe the card free of fingerprints before sticking it in the machine.

The only thing I'm not sure about is the entire premise of this. I presume that the whole wait-a-year thing is to make sure the security tapes are gone and that one one remembers you from when you opened the account. But I'm not sure that that is enough.

A slightly more clever idea would be to set up one of those fake ATM covers to steal card numbers and PINs, but just steal a few and don't use them to steal from the accounts...use them to funnel your money through. (You'll need to explain what's going on to the guy you're blackmailing, otherwise the account owner will end up in jail and you'll have no money.) Of course that's yet another set of risks...

Re:this is why extortion never works (4, Informative)

iamacat (583406) | more than 10 years ago | (#9543815)

Hmmm, HIV is not transmitted by eating and doesn't survive long outside human body. Put botulism in baby food, and we are talking. Besides, companies don't care what you do with the rest of the world. You will get more of a response if you threaten to release some internal memos saying there is no SCO source in Linux.

Why criminals seem dumb (4, Funny)

John Jorsett (171560) | more than 10 years ago | (#9543058)

If someone's a REAL master criminal, then he doesn't get caught and you never hear about him. Therefore, the only criminals you hear about are the dumb ones who get caught. Or at least that's my theory. Seems worthy of a $100 million research grant. (And there you have my template for becoming a master criminal. Enjoy.)

Re:Why criminals seem dumb (1)

adamfranco (600246) | more than 10 years ago | (#9543745)

The dumb one steal small amounts for cash registers and banks. Easy to get caught, lots of interaction with victims. Tough sentences.

The smart ones steal huge amounts from share-holders (a la Martha), consumers (various price-fixing schemes), tax-payers (Enron extorting money from CA), and others. They don't often get caught, they make huge amounts of money, the sentences are light, and as Ed Norton says in Fight Club; if someone dies (Ford roll-overs, etc), that's ok as long as the cost of settlements is less than the cost of a recall.

I guess the a-moral of this is that to be a good criminal, work with the system, not against it.

I'm not surprised. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9543059)

I bet he was a Slashdot editor at one point in time. He probably uses Linux, too. What a dumbass.

make the check payable to Myron Tereshchuk (4, Insightful)

smchris (464899) | more than 10 years ago | (#9543112)


Yup, the drop is always the hard part, isn't it?

And thank goodness. We'll always have action movies.

Sharks With Lasers On Thier Freakin heads (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9543119)

You can can away with anything as long as you have freakin sharks with freakin lasers on thier freakin heads.

Ricin? (2, Interesting)

Loiosh-de-Taltos (247549) | more than 10 years ago | (#9543147)

One must have an impressive grudge to consider using RICIN (which happens to be my favorite poison)

Re:Ricin? (1)

k4rm4_p0l7c3 (583281) | more than 10 years ago | (#9543742)

does ricing taste like rice?

inquiring minds want to know

Re:Ricin? (1)

k4rm4_p0l7c3 (583281) | more than 10 years ago | (#9543780)

DAMNIT son of a WHORE
i meant RICIN, not ricing :(

A good idea... (1, Funny)

Bull999999 (652264) | more than 10 years ago | (#9543160)

We should try the same scheme, but tell them to make the check payable to Darl McBride or Bill Gates.

Re:A good idea... (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 10 years ago | (#9543301)

I.B.M, U.B.M, We all B.M., For I.B.M.!

I remember that book. When H.A.R.L.I.E. was One, wasn't it?

When will people learn. (3, Insightful)

Chatmag (646500) | more than 10 years ago | (#9543192)

You can't stay anonymous forever on the Internet. There are too many methods available to trace a person back to the source. Subpoenaing server logs or ISP client records is a good start.

Writing hold up notes on one of your own return address formatted envelopes is not a good way to go about it either. Or in his case demanding a check in his own name. Cracks me up when I see people make fundamental mistakes like that.

Re:When will people learn. (1)

Derek Pomery (2028) | more than 10 years ago | (#9543299)

If that were true, the recent anti-spam laws would actually be enforceable.
Numerous methods remain to make you too hard to track.
You can be using a vast army of windows zombies as as proxies (one of the many windows users whose machine was taken over in this fashion successfully defended himself against a child porn charge that way). Any machine where you can wipe the logs is a good place to have the trail go cold.
You can use public libraries, and other public internet locations. Unsecured WAPs work too.

The fact is, is that you are only traceable on the internet if you aren't really trying to hide, or if you are too stupid to hide.

Re:When will people learn. (2, Interesting)

c0bw3b (530842) | more than 10 years ago | (#9543309)

You can't stay anonymous forever on the Internet. There are too many methods available to trace a person back to the source. Subpoenaing server logs or ISP client records is a good start.

An honest question: where would they go from there when they found out he was using random open wireless networks? That gotta be pretty tough to track down...

Re:When will people learn. (1)

Chatmag (646500) | more than 10 years ago | (#9543387)

Good points all.

There was a murder case here in Gainesville last year, a grad student of UF was murdered. His laptop was missing, and the police traced it to the MAC address. When the allegeded murderer used that laptop, they nailed him.

Re:When will people learn. (1)

clarkcox3 (194009) | more than 10 years ago | (#9543620)

That's easy to overcome: Change the MAC address.

Re:When will people learn. (4, Informative)

awol (98751) | more than 10 years ago | (#9543477)

You can't stay anonymous forever on the Internet. There are too many methods available to trace a person back to the source. Subpoenaing server logs or ISP client records is a good start.

On the contrary. It is actually quite easy to generate a _completely_ untraceable email address. If one proceeds to use it from different (and carefully chosen) internet cafes and insecure wifi points you could conduct a series of correspondences without any chance of them tracing you. I shan't go into the details here but there are a number of web pages that describe the process. I believe "The Register" linked to such an article about 18 months ago.

Make check payable to Myron Tereshchuk (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9543231)

Uh, shouldn't that be Moron Tereshchuk?

Re:Make check payable to Myron Tereshchuk (1)

Chatmag (646500) | more than 10 years ago | (#9543274)

LOL, or how about the world famous Stuart Pidowski, his friends call him Stu Pid.

Obligatory Simpsons reference.. (1, Funny)

murderlegendre (776042) | more than 10 years ago | (#9543285)

"You're Myron? But I'm Myron!!

"So, is this what it sounds like.. when doves cry?" (hugs)

Re:Obligatory Simpsons reference.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9543651)

Hehehe. One of my favorite scenes from the Simpsons. I wonder how many of the younger kids know that it's a song from Prince.

HOW x 1000 billion ? (2, Interesting)

jupiter909 (786596) | more than 10 years ago | (#9543304)

How can someone be 'smart' to get that far, and then use their name. It defies all logic known to man. Perhaps idiots are needed in the world afterall for our entertainment.

Re:HOW x 1000 billion ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9543320)

Well.. I think it's called security through openness and peer review ;)

Re:HOW x 1000 billion ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9543807)

This is what I call the 'university effect'. People can seem smart in a narrowly defined way, such as memorizing books full of tedious trivia and spewing it out on exams when they have nothing else to do, but when the time comes to think things through, especially when it's not written in a book or handed out by a prof, they fall apart.
This is why I never hire people with high GPAs. They always turn out to be obsessive compulsives with an inability to quickly shift focus and think on their feet. They might be good when surrounded by a big system full of checks, but they are useless in the real world.
This is my experience talking, take it with a grain of sodium chloride.

D'oh! (1)

sizzzzlerz (714878) | more than 10 years ago | (#9543316)

I guess those mail order lessons from "Learn to be a Master Criminal in Only 2 Hours" didn't take.

Good boy... (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 10 years ago | (#9543332)

... seems to be Darwin Awards [darwinawards.com] material.

-1 Redundant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9543422)

Check the frist post

The actual court document is even funnier (3, Informative)

originalhack (142366) | more than 10 years ago | (#9543341)

Looks like a plea agreement. read it and weep^h^h^h^hlaugh here [usdoj.gov] (pdf).

As my friend Kuni would say... (2, Funny)

penginkun (585807) | more than 10 years ago | (#9543469)

Stupid! You're so STUUUPID!

--
Next up on Wheel of Fish....

Evidence? (5, Interesting)

Zone-MR (631588) | more than 10 years ago | (#9543647)

Does requesting that the check is written out to his name immediatly prove that he is the culprit?

If so it would be worryingly easy to frame someone.

Stupid criminals (0, Redundant)

NineNine (235196) | more than 10 years ago | (#9543707)


Speaking of idiots...

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