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Russian Culprit behind Record Cyber Heist Pleads Guilty

Russian Culprit behind Record Cyber Heist Pleads Guilty

by Ali RazaSeptember 17, 2015

The culprit behind the biggest cyber-heist in the United States of America was apprehended earlier and pleaded guilty in front of the court. Vladimir Drinkman admitted to conspiring in stealing credit cards and causing damage up to $300 million.

As stated by Reuters, the culprit behind the biggest computer hacking scheme to have ever been prosecuted in the United States of America owned up to his involvement in the heist, which was the theft of around 160 million credit card numbers and causing huge losses, with figures reaching around $300 million.

The Russian man, Vladimir Drinkman pleaded guilty in front of Chief Judge Jerome Simandle of the Federal district court, saying that he had conspired to gain access to computer systems illegally and commit wire fraud using the data he had stolen.

The first appeal against Vladimir Drinkman and four other defendants was made back in 2003, where the prosecutor had said that the group had installed sniffers that were designed to steal data from major financial companies’ and payment processors’ computer networks.

They went on to say that the accused had used an array of computers to store the data stolen from the companies and had later sold the data they had collected. The companies whose networks had been infiltrated were 7-eleven, JC Penney Co, Nasdaq OMX Group Inc, a Visa Inc licensee, France’s Carrefour SA and Heartland Payment Systems.

Drinkman faces a jail time of around 30 years in the case when he will be sentenced on January 15, 2016. Nine other criminal charges were dismissed, with his plea agreement generating the possibility that the term he faces behind bars may be less due to his recognition and affirmative acceptance of personal responsibility.

Paul Fishman (Attorney) said:

Defendants like Vladimir Drinkman, who have the skills to break into our computer networks and the inclination to do so, pose a cutting edge threat to our economic well-being, our privacy and our national security.

Drinkman has been in custody since June 2012 when he was extradited from the Netherlands. Dmitry Smilianets, another Russian, is in U.S. custody after he pleaded not guilty to the charges he faced in August 2013.

However, there are three who are still evading the authorities. Alexander Kalinin, Roman Kotov, and Mikhail Ryitkov are still at large. Kalinin and Drinkman were referred to as Hacker 1 and 2 in an indictment accusing Albert Gonzalez being involved in five different corporate breaches in 2009.

Image from Shutterstock.

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