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Member of FIN7 Cybercrime Gang Sentenced to Prison in U.S.

A Ukrainian man has been sentenced to seven years in prison in the United States for his role within the cybercrime group known as FIN7.

The man, Andrii Kolpakov, 33, was arrested in Lepe, Spain, in June 2018, and was extradited to the United States in June 2019. He pleaded guilty in June last year.

Operating since at least 2015, the financially-motivated FIN7 group targeted businesses worldwide to steal payment card data. According to the United States Department of Justice, the hackers hit more than 100 organizations in the U.S. alone.

As part of attacks targeting the restaurant, gambling and hospitality industries, the cybergang used malware to steal millions of customer credit and debit card numbers that they then used or sold on online underground marketplaces for profit.

The group sent phishing emails to targeted businesses and then made follow-up phone calls to legitimize the emails and entice victims into opening malicious email attachments carrying adapted versions of the Carbanak malware. The attackers would use other tools as well to access and steal card data.

In the U.S., the group stole “more than 20 million customer card records from over 6,500 individual point-of-sale terminals at more than 3,600 separate business locations.”

The costs associated with the attacks are estimated to have exceeded $1 billion.

Kolpakov, the DoJ says, operated as part of FIN7 from at least April 2016 until his arrest. The man was described by authorities as a “high-level hacker, whom the group referred to as a ‘pen tester’.” He allegedly received compensation that “far exceeded comparable legitimate employment in Ukraine.”

Kolpakov and other FIN7 members, the DoJ says, were aware of the arrests of other members of the hacking group but continued their assaults on U.S. businesses.

In addition to the 7-year prison term, Kolpakov was ordered by the court to pay $2.5 million in restitution.

Fedir Hladyr, 35, also of Ukraine and a member of FIN7, was sentenced in April to 10 years in prison, after pleading guilty in 2019.

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