Feeds

Fifth man pleads guilty over Citibank ATM hack scam

Round up the unusual suspects

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

A cybercrook who got greedy and careless has admitted using hacked ATM codes to loot Citibank accounts.

Aleksandar Aleksiev, 28, pleaded guilty to a single count of device access fraud last week following his May 2008 arrest. Aleksiev, was caught red-handed trying to withdraw money from machines already under surveillance, Wired reports.

Aleksiev is the fifth person to plead guilty to offences linked to a computer hack into an ATM processing server last year.

Malicious crackers hit a server that handles transactions for Citibank-branded ATMs at 7-Eleven stores late in 2007. These unidentified Russian crooks made off with account information and associated PINs.

This information was sold on the digital underground. Counterfeit cards were manufactured and used to "cash out" compromised accounts. An estimated $2m was made through the scam, with 70 per cent of the profits going back to Russia.

Citibank (which stresses that customers were refunded for money stolen through the scam) began the monitoring of compromised accounts when the hack came to light, back in January 2008. A flurry of fraudulent withdrawals that saw $180,000 siphoned from compromised account through ATMs in New York's Upper East side the three days prior to Aleksiev's arrest. He was caught with 12 counterfeit cards and $12,000 in cash after making fraudulent withdrawals from five ATMs outside a Citibank branch on 65th street.

The scam began to unravel earlier than this after two suspects - Nue Quni and Luma Bitti - were caught with blank cards and a magnetic strip reader during a routine traffic stop. Bitti turned informant and pointed cops towards two other suspects, Andrey Baranets and Aleksandr Desevoh.

Three other suspects - Yuriy Rakushchynets, Angelina Kitaeva and Ivan Biltse - have admitted fraud and conspiracy offences. Rakushchynets and Biltse agreed to forfeit $912,500 and $838,000 in ill-gotten funds found stashed at their respective houses in exchange for a more lenient sentence. Rakushchynets's missus has pleaded guilty to destroying evidence held in a safe deposit box maintained by the couple.

Ilya Boruch, the man involved in managing the wire transfer of stolen funds back to Russia via internet-payment systems, faces money laundering charges over his alleged involvement in the scam. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Webcam hacker pervs in MASS HOME INVASION
You thought you were all alone? Nope – change your password, says ICO
You really need to do some tech support for Aunty Agnes
Free anti-virus software, expires, stops updating and p0wns the world
Meet OneRNG: a fully-open entropy generator for a paranoid age
Kiwis to seek random investors for crowd-funded randomiser
USB coding anarchy: Consider all sticks licked
Thumb drive design ruled by almighty buck
Attack reveals 81 percent of Tor users but admins call for calm
Cisco Netflow a handy tool for cheapskate attackers
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Protecting against web application threats using SSL
SSL encryption can protect server‐to‐server communications, client devices, cloud resources, and other endpoints in order to help prevent the risk of data loss and losing customer trust.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.