21-Year-Old Cypriot Hacker Extradited to U.S. Over Fraud and Extortion Charges

The United States Department of Justice has extradited two criminals from the Republic of Cyprus—one is a computer hacker suspected of cyber intrusions and extortion, and the other is a money launderer with known connections to the terrorist organization Hezbollah.

Both suspects—Joshua Polloso Epifaniou, 21, a resident of Nicosia, and Ghassan Diab, 37, a citizen of Lebanon—were arrested earlier last year and extradited to the United States last weekend.

According to the indictment, Epifaniou conducted a brute force attack against the Phoenix-based online review portal Ripoff Report (ROR) in October 2016 and successfully override ROR’s login and password protection to gain access to its database through an existing account associated with a ROR employee.

In November 2016, Epifaniou tried to extort the company by emailing ROR’s CEO with a hyperlink to a video demonstrating Epifaniou’s unauthorized access to the ROR CEO’s account, threatening him to publicly disseminate stolen ROR data unless he paid $90,000 within 48 hours.

Between October 2016 and May 2017, Epifaniou also worked with an associate at Glendale-based “SEO Company” to illegally remove complaints posted on ROR’s…


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