ARIZONA NEWS

Cybercriminal from Cyprus sentenced for extorting Phoenix-based website

Mar 19, 2021, 12:20 PM
(Pixabay Photo)...
(Pixabay Photo)
(Pixabay Photo)

PHOENIX – A cybercriminal from Cyprus has pleaded guilty to extorting multiple American websites, including one based in Phoenix, according to federal authorities.

Joshua Polloso Epifaniou, 22, was the first Cypriot national to be extradited to the United States, the Justice Department said in a press release Wednesday.

“Epifaniou harvested the personal information of website users to extort website operators into paying large ransoms,” Acting U.S. Attorney Kurt R. Erskine said in the release.

A judge sentenced him one year in federal prison, on top of credit for nearly four years in custody before his sentencing hearing. Epifaniou paid his victims nearly $600,000 in restitution.

Epifaniou was a teenager living with his mother when he carried out the scheme between at least October 2014 and November 2016, according to the release.

A consumer report website headquartered in Phoenix was among his victims. He also extorted a sports news website owned by Turner Broadcasting System, a California-based online game publisher, a New York hardware company and a Virginia-based online employment website.

After Epifaniou and co-conspirators stole sensitive information from the sites, they threatened to leak the data if the victims didn’t pay a ransom in cryptocurrency, according to the release.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

A Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is prepared at a vaccination center in Casablanca, Morocco, Monday, Oct. ...
KTAR.com

In report covering 3 days, Arizona adds 5,660 COVID-19 cases, 174 deaths

In a report covering three days’ worth of data, Arizona health officials on Tuesday added 5,660 cases and 174 deaths to the state’s COVID-19 totals.
9 hours ago
(AP Photo)...
KTAR.com

1 man dead, teen in custody following Phoenix shooting

Police are investigating the death of a man who was shot in Phoenix Monday evening, authorities said.
9 hours ago
Three firefighters received medical treatment for minor injuries after battling a house fire on Oct...
KTAR.com

3 firefighters injured, search for dog continues after Glendale house fire

Three firefighters suffered minor injuries after fighting a house fire in Glendale, authorities said Monday night.
9 hours ago
(AP Photo/Markus Schreiber, file)...
Griselda Zetino

Arizona’s top health official stresses COVID vaccines are still the ‘best protecting device’

The death of Colin Powell is putting a spotlight on breakthrough COVID-19 cases, which Arizona’s top health official said are extremely rare and added the vaccine is still the most effective way to fight off the virus.
9 hours ago
Thomas Rhett, left, and Old Dominion, right (Getty Images Photos)...
Danny Shapiro

Thomas Rhett, Old Dominion to perform at Waste Management Phoenix Open’s 16th hole

There will be a different reason to cheer at the upcoming Waste Management Phoenix Open when two popular country music acts perform on the fairway of the famous 16th hole of the golf course.
9 hours ago
(City of Goodyear photo)...
KTAR.com

UPS opening another facility in Goodyear, hiring 400 for various positions

UPS is opening a new facility in Goodyear, its second in the city, and plans to add 400 full- and part-time jobs.
9 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
DISC DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

What you need to know about spine health

With 540 million people suffering from lower back pain, it remains the leading cause of long-term disability. That’s why World Spine Day on Oct. 16 will raise awareness about spinal health with its theme, BACK2BACK. “BACK2BACK will focus on highlighting ways in which people can help their spines by staying mobile, avoiding physical inactivity, not overloading […]
...
Schwartz Laser Eye Center

How to sharpen your vision with elective procedures

Imagine opening your eyes in the morning and being able to see clearly. You wouldn’t have to wait to put on glasses or contacts, and there would be no more blurry showers nor forgetting where your glasses are.
...
BARROW NEUROLOGICAL INSTITUTE

More stroke patients eligible for acute treatment, thanks to research

Historically, patients underwent acute stroke treatments according to strict time guidelines. But thanks to recent advancements in stroke research, more patients are becoming candidates for clot-busting drugs and endovascular therapy at specialized centers like Barrow Neurological Institute.
Cybercriminal from Cyprus sentenced for extorting Phoenix-based website