Russians, Ukrainian charged in ‘cutting edge’ global hacking scheme

Jul 30, 2013
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Four Russians and a Ukrainian have been charged in what U.S. officials call the largest hacking attack in the country’s history, RIA Novosti reports.

Released 25 July, the indictment accuses the suspects of a conspiracy that included the theft of more than 160 million credit card numbers. After allegedly stealing the numbers and other data, or “dumps,” from payment-processing and other companies, the suspects sold them to “dumps resellers,” who then sold them online or to other individuals, according to Bloomberg.

The “dumps” were encoded into magnetic strips on blank plastic cards used to withdraw money or make credit-card purchases, resulting in the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars, U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman said in a statement to journalists.

“This type of crime is cutting edge,” he said. “Those who have the expertise and the inclination to break into our computer networks threaten our economic well-being, our privacy, and our national security.”

JCPenney, JetBlue, and French retailer Carrefour were among the companies targeted.

The suspects are charged with conspiracy to commit computer hacking and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Two are in custody, Fishman said.

Authorities in New York also indicted one of the five suspects and another Russian for hacking 800,000 bank accounts, according to Bloomberg.


Image courtesy of Flickr user marsmettnn tallahassee

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Transitions Online

Transitions Online ( is an Internet magazine that covers political, social, cultural, and economic issues in the former communist countries of Europe and Central Asia. The magazine has a strong network of local contributors, who provide valuable insight into events in the region’s 29 countries.
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