Man Gets 12 Years for LA Court Phishing Scam

LOS ANGELES (CN) – A Texas man will spend 12 years in federal prison for orchestrating an email phishing attack on the Los Angeles County Superior Court.

Oriyomi Sadiq Aloba, 33, of Katy, Texas, was convicted this summer on 27 charges related to the 2017 phishing attack that compromised court employee’s email accounts and spread messages to co-workers to steal their emails and passwords, according to the Justice Department.

According to evidence presented at trial, Aloba and his co-conspirators sent their message to thousands of employees, though only hundreds took the bait and gave their personal information.

But that’s all it took to send out 2 million phishing emails to other victims who were asked to provide their banking, credit card and personal information.

The additional phishing emails masqueraded as communications from American Express, Wells Fargo and other companies. Source code in those sites pointed back to Aloba’s email account as the destination for the personal information victims input into the website.

Investigators found a thumb drive in Aloba’s toilet, a damaged iPhone in a bathroom sink and a laptop computer with a smashed screen smeared with blood. They also found hacking software on Aloba’s devices.

The court suffered damages including more than $45,000 paid to employees responding to the attack. Victims also suffered $15,000 in combined actual and intended losses.

Prosecutors had told U.S. District Judge Gary Klausner that Aloba’s actions in attacking one of the largest court systems in the world “merit special attention” by the court.

Klausner sentenced the man to 12 years on Monday and ordered him to pay $47,479 in restitution.

Co-defendant Robert Charles Nicholson, 28, of Brooklyn, New York, who went by the online moniker “Million$Menace” previously pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Three additional accomplices remain at large outside the United States, according to the Justice Department.

%d bloggers like this: