Russian Hacker Convicted of Massive Cyber Fraud Scheme

By Features PCmag

A federal jury late last week convicted a Russian man for his role in a massive hacking scheme that defrauded US banks of more than $169 million.

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According to the US Justice Department, Roman Valerevich Seleznev, aka Track2, carried out the scheme between October 2009 and October 2013, during which he hacked into retail point-of-sale systems and installed on them malicious software designed to steal credit card numbers from small businesses.

"Evidence presented at trial demonstrated that the malware would steal the credit card data from the point-of-sale systems and send it to other servers that Seleznev controlled in Russia, the Ukraine, or in McLean, Virginia," the DOJ said in a news release. Seleznev then bundled the credit card information into groups and sold it on various "carding" websites. Buyers would, in turn, use the credit card numbers for their own shopping sprees.

All said and done, the scheme caused 3,700 financial institutions more than $169 million in losses, according to the DOJ. Small businesses, meanwhile, were perhaps most gravely affected; a restaurant in Seattle called Broadway Grill, for instance, was forced into bankruptcy following the cyber assault.

Seleznev was taken into custody in July 2014 in the Maldives. At that time, his laptop contained more than 1.7 million stolen credit card numbers and evidence linking him to the servers, email accounts, and financial transactions involved in the scheme.

After an eight-day trial, the man was convicted of 38 counts, including 10 counts of wire fraud, eight counts of intentional damage to a protected computer, nine counts of obtaining information from a protected computer, nine counts of possession of 15 or more unauthorized access devices and two counts of aggravated identity theft. The 32-year-old hacker is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 2.

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This article originally appeared on PCMag.com.