An Opelousas man is among a dozen individuals in four U.S. states plus Sweden, Slovenia and Pakistan facing charges in connection with an international computer hacking collective known as Darkode brought down by an FBI investigation, according to U.S. Attorney Stephanie Finley.
Rory Guidry is charged with computer fraud in connection with the case. Federal investigators say Darkode was a secret forum on the Internet — members were carefully vetted and admitted by invitation only — where hackers and other cyber-criminals bought, sold, traded and shared information and methods for unlawfully intruded into legitimate computer networks to steal sensitive financial and other information.
A press release announcing the charges says the FBI managed to infiltrate Darkode as part of Operation Shrouded Horizon to obtain the identities of its members. The dozen Darkode members arrested thus far among some 70 forum members international authorities are trying to track down in nations as widespread as Australia, Brazil, Cyprus, Finland, Israel and Nigeria.
“Hackers and those who profit from stolen information use underground Internet forums to evade law enforcement and target innocent people around the world,” says Assistant U.S. Attorney General Leslie Caldwell in the release. “This operation is a great example of what international law enforcement can accomplish when we work closely together to neutralize a global cybercrime marketplace.”
Guidry faces up to five years in prison, three years supervised release and a $250,000 fine if convicted.
“Cybercrime is a serious threat facing our country and has enormous implications for citizens,” Finley adds. “As the cyber threat in this nation and around the world continues to grow, our response to this type of criminal activity will be swift and aggressive. Clever computer criminals will not be able to hide or maintain their anonymity even as they cross national boundaries. Through the coordinated response and international cooperation of our law enforcement partners, individuals such as these who are involved in computer hacking forums will see their organizations dismantled, and they will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”