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Cablegate: Romania: U.S. Companies Engage On Cyber Crime

VZCZCXRO5095
PP RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLN
RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHBM #0560/01 1931409
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 111409Z JUL 08 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY BUCHAREST
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8479
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHEFHLC/DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHMCSUU/FBI WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BUCHAREST 000560

DOS FOR EUR/NCE
DOC FOR KNAJDI
DHS FOR SECRET SERVICE

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EINT EFIN EINV ECON PGOV KCRM KIPR RO
SUBJECT: ROMANIA: U.S. COMPANIES ENGAGE ON CYBER CRIME

REF: 07 BUCHAREST 1301

Sensitive but Unclassified; not for Internet Distribution.

1. (SBU) Summary. As part of an initiative spearheaded by eBay,
representatives of several American financial services, software,
and e-business companies visited Bucharest on June 10th and 11th,
2008 to discuss ways to enhance existing cooperation with the
Romanian authorities in combating financial crime, cyber fraud, and
computer piracy. The group identified the need to focus on specific
cases, increase law enforcement capacity through additional
training, and begin a public outreach program to change the Romanian
mindset when it comes to cyber and financial crime. End Summary.

2. (SBU) Post, in particular through the offices of the U.S. Secret
Service and Legal Attache, has had long-standing cooperative
programs with Romanian law enforcement to improve the Romanians'
ability to investigate and prosecute cyber crime and other types of
financial fraud. These efforts were intensified in late 2007 and
early 2008 to successfully track and arrest (in April) notorious
suspected hacker "Vladuz" for repeated cyber attacks on eBay
corporate systems and customers. The Vladuz case (reported reftel)
required extensive, close coordination with eBay, and seeking to
build on that experience, eBay undertook to organize a follow-up
visit by a wider group of U.S. companies concerned about cyber crime
and other forms of fraud connected to Romania. The group wished to
explore specific ways the private sector could assist and complement
training programs for Romanian officials, and to seek opportunities
for joint public outreach on the dangers and social harm caused by
cyber crime. Joining eBay executives in the visit were
representatives of MasterCard, Visa, American Express, PayPal,
Skype, Microsoft, and Western Union.

3. (SBU) In an opening briefing with relevant Embassy offices, the
group members laid out some of their primary concerns with regard to
Romania. Visa, MasterCard, and American Express presented a united
position that Romania-linked criminal elements throughout Europe and
the United States are responsible for a substantial portion of their
fraud losses, particularly in connection with Internet transactions.
They noted that they have been able to trace illicit money flows
directly back to Romania, and expressed a desire to work with
Romanian authorities on mechanisms for seizing these ill-gotten
assets. While agreeing that cooperation with law enforcement in
actual cases must remain a priority, eBay (together with PayPal,
Skype, and Microsoft) emphasized the need to change the tone of the
conversation in Romania - focusing on law enforcement training and
more public outreach.

4. (SBU) Subsequently the group met at Victoria Palace in a meeting
chaired by the Prime Minister's State Counselor and Director of the
Cabinet, Mihnea Constantinescu, with several GOR agencies
represented. In welcoming the group, Constantinescu said the GOR
had learned from the Vladuz case that it needs to strengthen
public-private sector cooperation in combating cyber crime, both in
terms of law enforcement as well as raising public awareness of the
problem, particularly among Romania's youth. The companies
described in some detail the fraud problems they have connected to
Romania, stressing this was not a criticism but a reality.
Constantinescu acknowledged the companies' frustrations in dealing
with the Romanian bureaucracy and said he wanted to work with them
to create a new framework for cooperation that would encompass both
law enforcement and outreach elements. The companies outlined
proposals to work with various GOR agencies on law enforcement and
prosecutorial training, recommended changes to the criminal code,
and a public outreach strategy. Constantinescu welcomed the
training assistance and suggested the companies work with the GOR to
organize a joint forum on cyber crime as a first step in outreach
efforts.

5. (SBU) The group also held meetings with Prosecutor General Laura
Kovesi and with the organized crime division of the National Police.
During these meetings the group committed to provide additional
training for the police and prosecutors, focused on teaching
Romanian law enforcement about their corporate systems and
developing best practices for sharing relevant information in future
cases. Kovesi assured the group that she wanted to work closely
with them, but explained that there are some real limitations in
Romanian law, one being that all personal assets are presumed to be
legitimate unless a prosecutor can prove they were illegally
acquired. This sets a high bar for any asset seizures. As a way to
move forward, Kovesi encouraged the group to propose amendments to
the Romanian criminal code. She believed that a joint effort on the

BUCHAREST 00000560 002 OF 002


part of multinational corporations would allow her to submit the
proposed code changes to the Justice Ministry as an "urgent"
ordinance, increasing the likelihood that the changes would be
quickly adopted.

6. (SBU) Comment: As an outgrowth of long-standing USG efforts to
assist and train Romanian authorities in the battle against cyber
crime, this June visit marks an important milestone in strengthening
our efforts by more directly involving a broader mix from the
private sector. Post's objective is to foster a continuing dialogue
among the corporate victims of financial and cyber fraud, USG
agencies and their Romanian Government counterparts, and Romanian
civil society to combat this proliferating and highly damaging form
of organized criminal activity. While the group expressed a
disparate range of priorities and interests, it is a hopeful sign
that they were able to cooperate on an agenda for the visit, driven
by the need to combat losses linked to Romania. Post has, with some
success, actively sought to move the involvement of corporate fraud
and hacking victims including eBay away from simple blaming of the
Romanian authorities, and towards a more forward-looking,
collaborative approach. If we can sustain momentum, post believes
this approach will bolster Romania's law enforcement capabilities
and improve the country's battered reputation in this regard, while
also directly addressing the losses these companies have
experienced. End Comment.

TAPLIN

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