Two Men Charged for Breaching Federal Law Enforcement Database and Posing as Police Officers to Defraud Social Media Companies

Two Men Charged for Breaching Federal Law Enforcement Database and Posing as Police Officers to Defraud Social Media Companies
Syndicated By: Iain Fraser Cybersecurity Journalist Gibraltar

15th March 2023

According to the United States Attorney´s Office two men have been charged for Breaching Federal Law Enforcement Database and Posing as Police Officers to Defraud Social Media Companies.

The Defendants Allegedly Used Compromised Law Enforcement Passwords and Foreign Government Email Accounts to Obtain Victims’ Personal Information and Threatened Victims with Release of that Information

A criminal complaint was unsealed today in federal court in Brooklyn charging Sagar Steven Singh and Nicholas Ceraolo with wire fraud and conspiracy to commit computer intrusions.  The charges stem from Singh’s and Ceraolo’s efforts to extort victims by threatening to release their personal information online.  Singh was arrested this morning in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, and will make his initial appearance this afternoon in federal court in Providence, Rhode Island. Ceraolo remains at large.

In pursuit of victims’ personal information, Singh and Ceraolo unlawfully used a police officer’s stolen password to access a restricted database maintained by a federal law enforcement agency that contains (among other data) detailed, nonpublic records of narcotics and currency seizures, as well as law enforcement intelligence reports.  Ceraolo (with Singh’s knowledge) also accessed without authorisation the email account of a foreign law enforcement officer, and used it to defraud social media companies by making purported emergency requests for information about the companies’ users.

Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and Ivan J. Arvelo, Special Agent-in-Charge, Homeland Security Investigations, New York (HSI), announced the charges.

“Singh and Ceraolo aptly belonged to a group called, as their crime was, ‘Vile.’ That conduct ends today,” stated United States Attorney Peace.  “As alleged, the defendants shamed, intimidated and extorted others online.  This Office will not tolerate those who impersonate law enforcement officers and misuse the public safety infrastructure that exists to protect our citizens.”

“As these charges make clear, the alleged unauthorized access of a US federal law enforcement system and impersonation of law enforcement officials are serious offences, and the criminals who perpetrate these schemes will be held accountable for their crimes.” stated HSI New York Special Agent-in-Charge Arvelo.  “HSI and its law enforcement partners are committed to safeguarding public safety infrastructure from cyber criminals and ensuring that those seeking to compromise these systems face the fullest extent of the law.”

Members of ViLE sought to collect victims’ personal information, such as names, physical addresses, telephone numbers, social security numbers and email addresses.  ViLE then posted that information (or threatened to post it) on a public website administered by a ViLE member – an action known as “doxxing.” Victims could pay to have their information removed from or kept off the website. 

ViLE members acquired victims’ information by various means, including by impersonating law enforcement officers and sending forged requests or orders purporting to be from law enforcement to social media companies, often demanding victim information on the pretence that loss of life was imminent. Learn More /...

iain Fraser Cybersecurity Journalist

The Defendants:

NICHOLAS CERAOLO (also known as “Convict,” “Anon” and “Ominous”)
Age:  25
Queens, New York

SAGAR STEVEN SINGH (also known as “Weep”)
Age:  19
Pawtucket, Rhode Island
E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 23-MJ-213

About Cybersecurity Journalist - Iain Fraser

Daily Cyber Insights | Iain Fraser - Cybersecurity & Geopolitical Journalist, Authority Writer, Commentator, Consultant Editor - Cybersecurity & Geopolitics | Gibraltar & Málaga City - Cybersecurity & Geopolitical Awareness, Threat Management, Compliance and Best Practice Mitigation. Voted Top 30 Cybersecurity News Websites Globally in 2023 for Information Security by Feedspot #CyberJourno #Scambaiter - Available for Assignments - Articles, Web Content, Guest Blogger.


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