Feeds

Fifth man pleads guilty over Citibank ATM hack scam

Round up the unusual suspects

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

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. ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
NUDE SNAPS AGENCY: NSA bods love 'showing off your saucy selfies'
Swapping other people's sexts is a fringe benefit, says Snowden
Own a Cisco modem or wireless gateway? It might be owned by someone else, too
Remote code exec in HTTP server hands kit to bad guys
British data cops: We need greater powers and more money
You want data butt kicking, we need bigger boots - ICO
Crooks fling banking Trojan at Japanese smut site fans
Wait - they're doing online banking with an unpatched Windows PC?
NIST told to grow a pair and kick NSA to the curb
Lrn2crypto, oversight panel tells US govt's algorithm bods
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.