International Men of Mystery

Need Someone For a Little Cyber Money Laundering? That Can Be Arranged

Like the man said: "But to live outside the law you must be honest."
foreignagents 600x349 Need Someone For a Little Cyber Money Laundering? That Can Be Arranged

That dude knows what’s up. (Image: Krebs on Security)

Got a massive pile of stolen money lying around? Happens to us all. You just need the right people to help launder it. And that, of course, is where the Internet comes in.

Security blogger Brian Krebs points to the advertisement above, which is making the rounds on Russian forums for cyber criminals. He reports that the flyer (featuring an anime-style illustration of a dude who looks like he’s about to take allll your money) promises “willing and ready foot soldiers for hire in California, Florida, Illinois and New York.” Translation: They’ve got a whole network of folks on the ground in the U.S., ready to help you move your loot into your international bank account.

It’s actually easier said than done getting money stolen virtually out of America and into offshore bank accounts. High-priced merch has to be picked up and hawked somewhere, and you can’t simply transfer tens of thousands of dollars out of a bank account without raising a red flag. Often the solution is to recruit unknowing “money mules” through shady work-from-home schemes, but that runs the risk they’ll realize something’s up and bolt.

These “foreign agents” call themselves “nerazvodni” or “not deceived,” meaning they know what’s up, and so they’re ready and willing to keep their shit together and stay quiet. As Mr. Kreb puts it: “These are mules that can be counted on not to freak out or disappear with the cash.” Customers even get access to a dashboard where they can monitor their accomplices’ progress.

That makes them very, very valuable, which means they can charge up to 45 percent for their services. Hey, know-how don’t come cheap.

In a sensible move, however, the organization works by reference only. So unless you’ve got someone in the underground to vouch for you, looks like you’re shit outta luck.

Follow Kelly Faircloth on Twitter or via RSS. kfaircloth@observer.com