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The U.S. indicted five alleged hacking criminals today in what prosecutors are saying is the largest hacking campaign ever to be tried in the United States. The Russian and Ukrainian nationals are believed to have stolen hundreds of millions of dollars in a credit card hacking scheme.
Vladimir Drinkman, Alexandr Kalinin, Roman Kotov, Mikhail Rytikov, and Dmitriy Smilianets were all named in the indictment released in New Jersey today. The five are said to have stolen over 160 million credit card numbers after breaching companies’ network security and mining the information. The group mostly targeting those companies that dealt with and transferred financial information. The data from these hacks was sold by Smilianets to “trusted identity theft wholesalers.” The going rate? An American credit card number would run you $10, a Canadian card number $15, and a European card $50.
They were able to steal “hundreds of millions of dollars” as a result of their hacking efforts.
Companies named as victims in the indictment include Nasdaq, 7-Eleven, Visa, Global Payments Systems, JCPenney, Dow Jones, JetBlue Airways, Dexia Bank Blegium, Commidea, and Wet Steal. Law enforcement is charging all of the defendants with both conspiracy to gain unauthorized access to computers and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Only Drinkman, Kalinin, Kotov, and Smilianets are accused of unauthorized access to computers and wire fraud.
According to a release by the United States Attorney District of New Jersey, both Kalinin and Drinkman were previously charged for their roles in a hack on Heartland Payment Systems Inc. At the time, however, their identities were not known, and they were instead referred to as hackers one and two.
Thus far only Drinkman and Smilianets have been arrested. Drinkman is currently in the Netherlands and will be extradited to the United States. Law enforcement is still on the hunt for the remaining three.
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