A Florida resident in charge of a $1 billion-worth trafficking operation in fraudulent and counterfeit Cisco networking equipment got arrested in Miami.
Onur Aksoy (also known under the names Ron Aksoy and Dave Durden) has reportedly operated at least 19 companies formed in New Jersey and Florida, as well as at least 15 Amazon storefronts, at least 10 eBay storefronts, and multiple other entities.
These entities were used to import tens of thousands of counterfeit Cisco networking devices from China and Hong Kong to sell them locally in the United States and abroad. All goods were advertised as original and new. In doing so, Aksoy managed to acquire millions of dollars, with the total revenue exceeding $100 million.
The devices which were presented as new were typically old or lower-model products. Some of them were stolen and then modified to appear modern.
“The Chinese counterfeiters often added pirated Cisco software and unauthorized, low-quality, or unreliable components – including components to circumvent technological measures added by Cisco to the software to check for software license compliance and to authenticate the hardware,” the press release explains.
In order to make the devices seem extra-convincing, threat actors added original Cisco labels, documentation, and packaging.
These devices were then vulnerable to safety and performance issues, often simply malfunctioning.
Customers of the Pro Network Entities included hospitals, schools, government agencies, and the military.
Aksoy faces charges of conspiracy to traffic in counterfeit goods; commit mail and wire fraud; three counts of mail fraud; four counts of wire fraud; and three counts of trafficking in counterfeit goods. He was formally arrested in Miami at the end of June.
Earlier last year, Cisco hit the headlines for a security flaw found in two of its firewall products prone to denial of service (DoS) attacks. To address these vulnerabilities, Cisco has released software security updates for the affected products.
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