The Justice Department announced today that five men have been indicted for what’s probably the most successful data-breach scheme ever. The group (four Russians, one Ukrainian) is accused of targeting a slew of companies, including NASDAQ (not the trading platform), 7-Eleven, Carrefour, JCP, Hannaford, Wet Seal (!!), JetBlue, Dow Jones, Euronet, Visa Jordan, and others, between 2005 and 2012.
Go where the money is!
Allegedly they stole 160 million credit cards all told, and the Justice Department says damages are in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Three breached companies alone claim more than $300 million in losses–ouch.
U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman makes these guys sound like Lex Luthor, basically:
“This type of crime is the cutting edge…. 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. And this case shows, there is a real practical cost because these types of frauds increase the costs of doing business for every American consumer, every day. We cannot be too vigilant and we cannot be too careful.”
Two of the accused, Vladimir Drinkman and Dmitriy Smilianets, were recently arrested in the Netherlands. The rest of the men remain at large and might want to consider retiring to a private tropical island, or perhaps working out some sort of reality TV pitch in partnership with Edward Snowden.
(h/t Ars Technica)