Cypriot Hacker Joshua Polloso Epifaniou Extradited to the United States

By Bill Toulas / July 21, 2020

Joshua Polloso Epifaniou, a 21-year old hacker living in Nicosia, Cyprus, has just been extradited to the United States. The Cypriot police arrested the young man back in 2017 after he launched at least eight attacks against a local ISP provider, Cablenet. The man admitted that the purpose of the attacks was to extort Cablenet, while the result was extensive damage to the firm's network service, which was brought down for all its subscribers.

During the investigations of these acts, the FBI stepped in and requested the extradition of Epifaniou, claiming that the same hacker had done damage to American companies as well.

According to the 24-count indictment that was published by the US Department of Justice, Epifaniou engaged in stealing PII from American citizens and businesses and is confirmed to have hacked the following entities:

By exploiting the stolen data, Epifaniou defrauded the companies of $56,850 in Bitcoin. The total losses for remediation associated with these incidents are estimated to over half a million USD.

Earlier, in 2016, the hacker brute-forced his way into the Ripoff Report (ROR) database and gained access to the account belonging to one of the firm’s employees. He then sent an email to the company CEO and threatened to publish sensitive exfiltrated data if he didn’t receive $90,000 within 48 hours.

In addition to all that, the hacker received between $3,000 and $5,000 to remove entries from the ROR database, and he did that for approximately 100 complaints. So, all in all, J.P. Epifaniou had made at least one million USD before he turned 19.

His lawyer tried to merge the cases for trial in Nicosia, but the Cyprus Republic preferred to comply with the demand from overseas and hand over the hacker.

Interestingly, Cyprus's local community is seeing the person with sympathy, not considering his acts to be that serious even though they are condemnable. Instead, many voices called the government to employ the young hacker in the national intelligence services, but these suggestions didn’t go far, of course.

Epifaniou was the child of a very low-income family, and he had to stop going to school due to the financial difficulties they were facing. This, combined with his family's social marginalization (extramarital child living only with the mother), led the youngster to unlawful acts, so the sympathy of the community is somewhat understandable.

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