Five Charged With Hacking Scheme: 160 Million Cards Hacked Over Seven Years

Four Russian nationals and a Ukrainian have been charged with running a massive scheme that involved hacking more than 160 million credit and debit cards from 2005 to 2012 according to CNN.

According to the report, the five men hacked into computer networks of more than a dozen major American and international companies, such as J.C. Penny, Wet Seal, 7-Eleven, Nasdaq, Dow Jones, and JetBlue.

Live 5 News reported that the hackers took user names and passwords, means of identification, credit and debit card number and other corresponding personal identification information of cardholders.

New Jersey U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman stated the following:

“Those who have the expertise and the inclination to break into our computer networks threaten our economic well-being, our privacy, and our national security.”

According to reports, each of the five men had very specific roles they played in this hacking scheme.

“Vladimir Drinkman and Alexandr Kalinin gained access to the companies’ systems, while Roman Kotov mined the networks for valuable data.

“The hackers used anonymous web-hosting services provided by Mikhail Rytikov to hide their identities. Dmitriy Smilianets was responsible for selling the stolen data and divvying up the proceeds among the five men.”

According to the CNN report,

“The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York on Thursday announced two additional indictments against Kalinin for hacking servers used by the financial securities market Nasdaq and an international scheme to steal bank account information by hacking U.S.-based financial institutions.”

The Inquisitr recent reported on Three Purdue University engineering students – Roy Chaoran Sun, Sujay Sharma, and Mitsutoshi Shirasaki – are facing felony charges stemming from a hacking scheme meant to boost their grade point average.

According to CNN, law enforcement officials obtained instant message conversations that revealed the defendants often targeted the companies for many months, “waiting patiently as their efforts to bypass security were underway,” the New Jersey U.S. Attorney’s office said.

The men implanted malware software on companies’ servers for more than a year.

Once they were in, the five would sell each stolen American credit card numbers for $10, Canadian cards for $15 and European cards for $50.

Reports say that the hacking scheme allegedly defrauded other companies, including Hannaford, Heartland, Commidea, Dexia, Euronet, Global Payment, Diners and Ingenicard.

[Image via Shutterstock/Maksim Kabakou]