The FBI's 10 most wanted cyber criminals

The Internet has impacted the world in numerous ways, but it isn't always positive

FBI's cybercrimes top 10 list
Credit: FBI
10 most wanted cybercriminals

Technology brings a lot of good into the world, but with the good comes the bad. And, in this case, the bad is a new field of criminal activity: cybercrime. In fact, according to a recent study by the Ponemon Institute, conducted in partnership with HP, cybercrime in the United States has risen 19 percent year-over-year. And perhaps more alarming than that, all companies will fall victim to cybercrime to some degree.

Cybercrime is on the rise as technology invades every aspect of our daily lives, and the threat it poses to companies, the government, and even individuals is significant. With more data stored electronically than ever before, and the rise of online payments and e-commerce, skilled cybercriminals can gain access to sensitive data, steal victims' identities, access their bank accounts -- and then turn around and sell the data in a flash.

To identify and track down the bad guys, the FBI dedicates an entire "Most Wanted" list to cybercrimes. Here are the FBI's top 10 most wanted cybercriminals still at large.

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FBI's Most Wanted Cybercriminals:  firas dardar
Credit: FBI

Firas Dardar is wanted by the FBI for his alleged involvement in the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA), a group that is alleged to have committed hacks in support of the Syrian Regime. Dardar's involvement is specifically linked to crimes committed between September 2011 and January 2014, during which time he allegedly committed numerous attacks against the U.S. government, media organizations, and private companies under the nickname "The Shadow." Beyond that, he's also accused of committing cyber extortion schemes that targeted both U.S. and international companies. The FBI says he is currently living in Homs, Syria, and says he also goes by the aliases "Ethical Dragon" and "Ethical Spectrum," among others.

Reward: For any information leading to the arrest of Firas Dardar, the FBI will award up to $100,000.

FBI's Most Wanted Cybercriminals:  ahmed al agha
Credit: FBI

Ahmed Al Agha, also known as "Th3 Pr0," is another cybercriminal allegedly involved with the SEA, according to the FBI. He's accused of committing hacks for the SEA between 2011 and 2014 against the U.S. government, media organizations, and private companies. He's thought to currently reside in Syria, where he was born. He's in his early 20s, according to the birth date he's used, and he wears prescription glasses.

Reward: The FBI is offering up to 100,000 for any information leading to Ahmed Al Agha's arrest.

FBI's Most Wanted Cybercriminals:  evgeny mikhalilovich bogachev
Credit: FBI

Evgeny Mikhalilovich Bogachev, known online as "lucky12345" and "slavik," is accused of "involvement in a wide-ranging racketeering enterprise and scheme" that installed malicious software onto unsuspecting victims' devices. The virus was known as "Zeus," and it captured personal data such as bank account numbers, passwords, PINs, and other relevant banking info for identity theft. The virus arrived on the scene in 2009, with Bogachev using his job as an administrator to help distribute the link along with accomplices. By 2011, there was a modified version of the virus circulating, known as GameOver Zeus (GOZ), which the FBI believes is responsible for over one million infected computers with an estimated loss of over $100 million. Currently, the FBI believes Bogachev may be traveling the Black Sea in his boat and notes that he owns property in Krasnodar, Russia.

Reward: For any information leading to the arrest of Bogachev, the FBI is offering a reward of up to $3 million.

FBI's Most Wanted Cybercriminals: nicolae popescu
Credit: FBI

Nicolae Popescu, also known by the aliases "Nae" and "Stoichitoiu," is wanted for his alleged involvement in a "sophisticated Internet fraud scheme," according to the FBI. Popescu is alleged to have posted ads on online auction sites for items that didn't exist, complete with fraudulent invoices from "legitimate online payment services." Popescu's conspirators in the United States also used fake passports to open bank accounts under false identities so that victims could wire them money. Once the money was wired from the victims, it was withdrawn and sent to other conspirators with instructions sent via email. Popescu has been on the FBI's radar since 2012, when a federal arrest warrant was issued for Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud, Money Laundering, Passport Fraud, and Trafficking in Counterfeit Service Marks. According to the FBI website, Popescu speaks Romanian and may have traveled to Europe.

Reward: The FBI is offering a reward of up to $1 million for any information leading to the arrest of Nicolae Popescu.

FBI's Most Wanted Cybercriminals:  alexsey belan
Credit: FBI

Alexsey Belan is wanted for crimes allegedly committed against major e-commerce companies in Nevada and California between 2012 and 2013. The FBI alleges that Belan stole user databases to gain access to account information and passwords; then once he got what he needed, he sold the data. He's Latvian, speaks Russian, and may be residing in Russia, Greece, Latvia, the Maldives, or Thailand. His known aliases include Magg, M4G, Moy.Yawik, and Abyrvaig, and the FBI also notes he may wear glasses and has been known to dye his naturally brown hair either red or blonde. He was last known to be in Athens, Greece.

Reward: For any information leading to Belan's arrest, the FBI is offering $100,000.

FBI's Most Wanted Cybercriminals:  jabberzeus subjects
Credit: FBI

Jabberzeus Subjects is a group wanted by the FBI for wide-ranging racketeering and participation in the Zeus virus mentioned earlier. This group includes Ivan Viktorvich Klepikov, aliases "petr0vich" and "nowhere;" Alexey Dmitrievich Bron, alias "thehead;" and Vyacheslav Igorevich Penchukov, aliases "tank" and "father." The FBI believes these individuals are currently in Russia and Ukraine, and are accused of allegedly participating in distributing the Zeus virus to collect data on and transfer funds from unsuspecting victims' bank accounts.

Reward: The FBI is not offering a reward for information on these individuals, but tips can be reported to your local FBI office or the nearest American Embassy or Consulate.

FBI's Most Wanted Cybercriminals: carlos enrique perez melara
Credit: FBI

Carlos Enrique Perez-Melara is wanted by the FBI for alleged involvement in a spyware program that breached unsuspecting victims' privacy. The spyware was designed as software to "catch a cheating lover," and malware was delivered via a seemingly innocuous e-card. When the recipient opened the e-card, software was installed on his or her computer and it proceeded to collect key strokes, passwords, correspondence, and websites visited. The service would then email the purchasers the information they were looking for, whether it was passwords, conversations, and website logs. It was originally known as "Email PI" but was later changed to "Lover Spy" in 2003. Perez-Melara was in the United States on a travel visa and then a student visa, with ties to San Diego, Calif, but he was last spotted in San Salvador, El Salvador.

Reward: The FBI is offering up to $50,000 for any information that leads to Perez-Melara's arrest.

FBI's Most Wanted Cybercriminals: sun kailiang
Credit: FBI

Sun Kailiang is one of five members of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) of the People's Republic of China (PRC) and has been charged with 31 criminal counts, according to the FBI. Charges include conspiring to commit computer fraud, accessing a computer without authorization for financial gain, damaging computers via code and commands, aggravated identity theft, economic espionage, and theft of trade secrets. Along with other officers of the PRC's Third Department of the General Staff Department of the People's Liberation Army, Kailiang provided his expertise to help access the networks of various American companies that were involved with "negotiations or joint ventures or were pursuing legal action with, or against, state-owned enterprises in China." Beyond that, he's accused of helping to steal private information and trading secrets involving nuclear plant designs, controlling victims' computers, and sending malicious emails.

Reward: The FBI isn't offering a reward for any information regarding Kailiang, but you can give any tips to your local FBI office, an American Embassy, or Consulate.

FBI's Most Wanted Cybercriminals:  huang zhenyu
Credit: FBI

Huang Zhenyu is another member of the PLA of the PRC and is wanted on the same counts as Kailiang: aggravated identity theft, damaging computers, economic espionage, and theft of trade secrets, among others. Like Kailiang, Zhenyu was part of a conspiracy to obtain information and data from American companies that were in talks with or had legal action with companies in China. Once he gained access into their networks, Zhenyu used his expertise to access email exchanges, nuclear plant plans, and other proprietary information.

Reward: The FBI isn't offering a reward for any information regarding Zhenyu, but you can send any tips to your local FBI office, an American Embassy, or Consulate.

FBI's Most Wanted Cybercriminals: wen xinyu
Credit: FBI

Wen Xinyu is another member of the PLA of the PRC, wanted on the same 31 criminal counts as on the FBI's list. His aliases included "WenXYHappy," "Win_XY," and "Lao Wen." Wen is alleged to have controlled victims' computers in an attempt to assist with conspiracies to gain information on numerous American companies. Like the others accused on the list, Xinyu was recruited for his specific technological skills and ability to gain illegal access to corporate networks.

Reward: The FBI isn't offering an award for information on Xinyu, but you can submit tips to the FBI, American Embassy, or Consulate.