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Home » Hacking News » This is how they do it in Russia

This is how they do it in Russia

by ivy on May 25th, 2001 MOSCOW, Russia -- A gang of suspected hackers led by a 63-year-old man has been arrested by Russian police.

The group of about five people used Internet cafes in Moscow to steal around 300 credit card numbers from people in Western countries, the chief of Moscow police's computer crime unit said.

Dmitry Chepchugov, quoted by The Associated Press, said they then used the cards to make false purchases through an online company they had created. The front company they used sold useless information about Russian timber.

The retired man used to write programming codes for a Moscow institute. According to Russian police, he was bitter about his small pension and the lack of royalties for the work that he used to do."One can understand him, considering the realities of life today," Chepchugov said.

Speaking at a news conference, he refused to say how police learned about the scheme. However, he said his department cooperated with the Russian company Cyberplat, which deals with online credit card transactions.

He described the hackers as "professionals without any romantic ideas who wanted to make money." "This case dispels the myth that hackers are 14- and 15-year-old geniuses," he said, adding that the gang face three to 10 years in prison if convicted.

Russians have been behind several high profile cases of international computer fraud. A "cyberthief" known as Maxus stole credit card numbers from Internet retailer CD Universe last year. He demanded a $100,000 ransom, but when this was denied, he placed 25,000 of the numbers on a Web site. He has never been caught.

Another hacker, mathematician Vladimir Levin, was sent to prison for three years in Florida in 1998 for hacking into the Citibank system and stealing $12 million by transferring digital dollars out the bank's accounts.

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