NEWARK, N.J. (7/26/13)--Five men--four Russians and a Ukrainian--have been indicted in a U.S. court in Newark, N.J., as conspirators in a worldwide hacking and data breach scheme that targeted major corporate networks, stole more than 160 million credit and debit card numbers, and resulted in millions of dollars in losses in what authorities called "the largest such scheme ever prosecuted in the U.S."
Many of the victims included credit union members--and credit unions themselves, who bore the costs of replacing members compromised credit and debit cards accounts and fraudulent charges on those accounts. Financial institutions, credit card companies and consumers suffered hundreds of millions in losses, including $300 million reported by three of the corporate victims, said a press release.
The group charged is allegedly responsible for breaches of Hannaford Brothers, Heartland Payment Systems, NASDAQ, 7-Eleven, Carrefour, JC Penney, Wet Seal, Commidea, Dexia, JetBlue, Dow Jones, Euronet, Visa Jordan, Global Payment, Diners Singapore and Ingenicard, according to U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman, who announced the charges Thursday with representatives from the U.S. Secret Service and Department of Justice. NASDAQ's trading platform was not impacted.
Drinkman and Kalinin allegedly specialized in penetrating network security and gaining access to corporate victims' systems. Kotov, also a hacker, allegedly specialized in mining the networks Drinkman and Kalinin allegedly compromised to steal data. Rytikov provided the anonymous Web-hosting services where the hackers hid their activities, and Smilianets sold the information stolen by the others and distributed the proceeds, said the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Kalinin and Drinkman were previously charged in New Jersey as "Hacker 1" and "Hacker 2" in a 2009 indictment that charged Albert Gonzalez, 32, of Miami with five breaches including the Heartland Payment Systems Inc. breach, which at the time was the largest ever reported. Gonzalez is serving a 20-year prison sentence.
Kalinin also is charged in the NASDAQ hacking and is charged, along with another Russian hacker, Nikolay Nasenkov, in an international scheme to steal bank account information by hacking U.S.-based financial institutions.
Drinkman and Smilianets were arrested in the Netherlands. Smilianets was extradicted in September and remains in federal custody. Drinkman is still in the Netherlands awaiting extradition proceedings. Kalinin, Kotov and Rytikov remain at large.
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