Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Three Plead Guilty in $2 Million Citibank ATM Caper

Kevin Poulsen writes on Threat Level:

Three New Yorkers accused of using hacked Citibank ATM card numbers and PINs to steal $2 million from customer accounts in four months have pleaded guilty to federal conspiracy and access device fraud charges.

The defendants -- Ivan Biltse, Angelina Kitaeva and Yuriy Rakushchynets, aka Yuriy Ryabinin -- are among 10 suspects charged earlier this year in connection with a breach of transaction processing server handling ATMs at 7-Eleven convenience stores. The ATMs are branded Citibank, and owned by Houston-based Cardtronics.

Court records indicate a Russian hacker breached the ATM server in late 2007, and monitored transactions from 7-Eleven cash machines long enough to capture thousands of account numbers and PINs. The Russian then farmed out the stolen data to mules in the United States, who burned the account numbers onto blank mag-stripe cards and withdrew cash from Citibank ATMs in the New York area for at least five months, sending 70 percent of the take back to Russia.

Citibank reported the breach to the FBI in February. In a separate investigation, U.S. Secret Service agents had already identified Rakushchynets as a member of the computer underground, and they tied him to the Citibank heist after comparing ATM surveillance photos to pictures of Rakushchynets posted on ham radio websites.

More here.


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