Tuesday, March 24, 2009

'The Analyzer' Hack Probe Widens - $10 Million Allegedly Stolen From U.S. Banks

Ehud Tenenbaum in 1998.

Kim Zetter writes on Threat Level:

Ehud Tenenbaum, an Israeli hacker arrested in Canada last year for allegedly stealing about $1.5 million from Canadian banks, also allegedly hacked two U.S. banks, a credit and debit card distribution company and a payment processor in what U.S. authorities are calling a global "cashout" conspiracy.

The U.S. hacks have resulted in at least $10 million in losses, according to court records obtained by Threat Level, and are just part of a larger international conspiracy to hack financial institutions in the United States and abroad.

The broadened case highlights the continued vulnerability of U.S. financial networks to cybercrime, despite supposedly tight industry security standards. It comes on the heels of other multimillion-dollar heists that also breached the security protecting ATM codes and account information. In late 2007, criminals used four hacked iWire payroll cards to steal $5 million from ATMs around the world in just two days. Shortly thereafter, a processing server that handles withdrawals from Citibank-branded ATMs at 7-Eleven convenience stores was cracked, leading crooks to converge on New York to withdraw at least $2 million from Citibank accounts using the stolen ATM data. And a carefully coordinated global heist last November resulted in a one-day haul of $9 million in cash, following a breach at payment processor RBS WorldPay.

Tenenbaum, 29, made headlines a decade ago under his hacker handle "The Analyzer" for penetrating Pentagon computers and other networks. He'd been living in France, and had only been in Canada about five months on a six-month visitor's permit when he was arrested last August in Calgary with three alleged accomplices for allegedly hacking into Direct Cash Management, a Calgary company that distributes prepaid debit and credit cards. A Canadian court granted him CDN $30,000 bail, but before he could be released from jail, U.S. authorities swooped in with a provisional warrant to retain him in custody while they pursued an indictment and extradition.

More here.

Image source: Gary Warner


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