Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Estonians, Russian, Moldovan charged in credit card hack

WASHINGTON — Alleged computer hackers from Estonia, Russia and Moldova have been indicted in a scheme that netted nine million dollars from cash dispensers, the US Justice Department said on Tuesday.

"This investigation has broken the back of one of the most sophisticated computer hacking rings in the world," said acting US attorney Sally Quillian Yates of the Northern District of Georgia.

Sergei Tsurikov, 25, of Tallinn, Estonia, Viktor Pleshchuk, 28, of St. Petersburg, Russia, and Oleg Covelin, 28, of Chisinau, Moldova, have been indicted by a federal grand jury in Atlanta, Georgia, the department said.

It said a fourth person known only as "Hacker 3" was also indicted on charges of hacking into a computer network operated by Atlanta-based credit card processing company RBS WorldPay, part of the Royal Bank of Scotland.

Tsurikov, Pleshchuk, Covelin and "Hacker 3" were charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy to commit computer fraud, computer fraud, access device fraud and aggravated identity theft.

They were accused of compromising the data encryption on payroll debit cards, which are used by some companies to allow employees to withdraw their salaries directly from a cash dispenser, or ATM.  AFP

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