Cybersecurity

Russian hacker sentenced to 27 years after stealing 1.7M credit card numbers

A 32-year-old Russian hacker was sentenced to 27 years in prison on Friday after causing more than $169 million in damages to small businesses and financial institutions.

According to the Justice Department, Roman Valeryevich Seleznev, also known as Track2, was convicted in August of last year after stealing and selling millions of credit card numbers by hacking onto point-of-sale computers.

"This investigation, conviction and sentence demonstrates that the United States will bring the full force of the American justice system upon cybercriminals like Seleznev who victimize U.S. citizens and companies from afar," Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Blanco said in a statement.

"And we will not tolerate the existence of safe havens for these crimes - we will identify cybercriminals from the dark corners of the Internet and bring them to justice," he added.

Seleznev, son of a prominent Russian lawmaker who is a member of the Russian Duma, was able to steal credit card information by installing malicious software on retail point-of-sale systems, according to the Justice Department.

He was arrested in July 2014 in Maldives after earning millions of dollars on his scheme between 2009 and 2013. Upon arrest, authorities retrieved a computer that contained more than 1.7 million stolen credit card numbers.

"Mr. Seleznev's criminal enterprise was both sophisticated and expansive, with transnational implications. This investigation exemplifies the ability of the U.S. Secret Service and our law enforcement partners to hold accountable those who perpetrate such crimes," U.S. Secret Service agent Robert L. Kierstead said in a statement.

"The ultimate success of this case is the result of an extraordinary collaborative effort by the Secret Service, the U.S. Attorney's Office of the Western District of Washington, the Criminal Division's Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section and the Seattle Police Department," he added.

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