Frenchman Sébastien Raoult will be presented to an American judge on Friday

Frenchman Sébastien Raoult, extradited Wednesday from Morocco to the United States, will be presented to a federal judge in Seattle (northwest) on Friday to be notified of the charges against him, announced the prosecutor in charge of the case.

The 21-year-old was charged in June by American justice with two other French nationals, Gabriel Bildstein, 23, and Abdel-Hakim El-Ahmadi, 22, prosecutor Nick Brown said in a statement.

The three men are accused of having formed the group of hackers “ShinyHunters” and of having, from 2020, stolen confidential data from 60 companies, including some located in the Seattle area, to resell them on the dark web.

The indictment, made public on Thursday, details precisely the modus operandi of this group of hackers.

According to this document, the “ShinyHunters” had created websites resembling the authentication pages of real entities. With phishing emails, they lured employees of these organizations to these pages and collected their credentials.

Once inside their victims’ computer systems, they copied customer files and financial information, which they then offered for sale on platforms like “Raidforums and EmpireMarket, known to harbor cybercriminals and illegal activity.”

Sometimes they would blackmail their victims, demanding a ransom in cryptocurrency to keep their data out of the market.

In order to increase their notoriety and their profits, they communicated with the media and posted, on one occasion, a protest message on the site of one of their victims.

According to various experts, they targeted Microsoft’s account on the computer code sharing platform Github, the Indonesian e-commerce site Tokopedia, the American clothing brand Bonobos or the American telephone operator AT&T.

The American authorities assure that the three Frenchmen were hiding behind this group, and say they have identified them on the basis of IP addresses, linked accounts and discussions on forums.

They face nine charges, including criminal association, computer fraud, identity theft, each punishable by penalties ranging from 2 to 27 years in prison.

Sébastien Raoult, arrested on May 31 at Rabat-Salé airport at the request of American justice, was extradited on Wednesday by Morocco, despite strong protests from his family and his lawyer.

Gabriel Bildstein was tried in France in 2019 for hacking the Vevo channel and the Despacito tube on Youtube. Suffering from Asperger’s autism, he had been declared criminally irresponsible. He is still being prosecuted as part of the investigation into the hacking of the Gatehub cryptocurrency platform.

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