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Russian Hacker Gets 27-Year Prison Sentence

A 32-year-old Russian cybercriminal was sentenced in the United States last week to 27 years in prison for hacking into point-of-sale (PoS) computers to steal credit card numbers.

A 32-year-old Russian cybercriminal was sentenced in the United States last week to 27 years in prison for hacking into point-of-sale (PoS) computers to steal credit card numbers.

Roman Valeryevich Seleznev, who was also known as Track2, was convicted in August 2016 of 38 counts related to his scheme to hack PoS endpoints: 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. 

He is the son of Russian politician Valery Seleznev, who accused the US of kidnapping when the hacker was arrested in the Maldives in 2014. The laptop Seleznev had in his custody when arrested contained over 1.7 million stolen credit card numbers (initially said to be 2.1 million), along with additional evidence linking the Russian to the servers, email accounts and financial transactions involved in the scheme.

Seleznev’s computer hacking crimes caused more than $169 million in damage to small businesses and financial institutions, the Department of Justice claims. Between October 2009 and October 2013, the man hacked into retail PoS systems and installed malicious software to steal credit card numbers. Evidence revealed that Seleznev earned tens of millions of dollars from his criminal activity.

More than 500 U.S. businesses were affected by hacker, who sent the stolen data to servers that he controlled in Russia, the Ukraine and McLean, Virginia. Seleznev then sold the credit card information on various criminal “carding” websites to others who used them for fraudulent purchases, evidence introduced during the trial of the case revealed.

Seleznev mainly targeted small businesses, such as restaurants and pizza parlors in Western Washington, including Broadway Grill in Seattle, which went bankrupt after the cyber-attack. Overall, the hacker’s scheme affected around 3,700 financial institutions and caused more than $169 million in losses.

A separate indictment in the District of Nevada charges Seleznev with participating in a racketeer influenced corrupt organization (RICO) and conspiracy to engage in a racketeer influenced corrupt organization, and of two counts of possession of 15 or more counterfeit, along with unauthorized access devices. He is also charged in the Northern District of Georgia with conspiracy to commit bank fraud, one count of bank fraud and four counts of wire fraud.

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Related: US Jury Convicts Russian MP’s Son for Hacking Scheme

Related: Russian Accused of Hacking ‘May Die in US Prison’: Father

Written By

Ionut Arghire is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek.

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