Feeds

$9m RBS WorldPay hack mastermind avoids jail

Extradition unlikely

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

The Russian hacker at the centre of a massive $9.4m fraud against RBS WorldPay has avoided jail after he agreed to turn informant on his fellow cybercriminals and pay compensation to the bank.

Viktor Pleshchuk, 29, of St. Petersburg, Russia, received a six year suspended sentence after agreeing to pay back 275m roubles ($8.9m) to RBS WorldPay and snitch on his erstwhile partners in crime, Bloomberg reports.

Crooks broke into the computer systems of RBS WorldPay in November 2008 and created counterfeit payroll debit cards using the data they stole. They also succeeded in increasing the daily withdrawal limits on compromised accounts and obtaining PINs needed to withdraw funds.

Foot soldiers were then recruited to cash-out the compromised accounts using more than 2,100 ATMs in at least 280 cities worldwide to withdraw $9m overnight in around 12 hours. Pleshchuk allegedly monitored the withdrawals in real-time before unsuccessfully trying to destroy evidence of the break-in.

Pleshchuk's lawyer, Yuriy Novolodsky, implausibly claims his client was unaware of the gravity of his offence. "This is not a regular crime but a cybercrime and Pleshchuk didn’t really have a full understanding of the damage he was causing," Novolodsky said, Bloomberg reports. "He pleaded guilty and is fully collaborating with authorities."

Local reports portray Pleshchuk as a hacker who played no role in organising the fraud, unlike US investigators, who put him at the centre of organising and commissioning the cyberheist.

Pleshchuk and seven other defendants have been charged in the US over the scam. However the Russian constitution has provisions that block extradition of its citizens, making it extremely unlikely that Pleshchuk will ever face a US trial over his crimes. Others implicated in the uber-fraud have not been so lucky.

Sergei Tsurikov, 26, of Tallinn, Estonia, was extradited to the US last month. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
'Things' on the Internet-of-things have 25 vulnerabilities apiece
Leaking sprinklers, overheated thermostats and picked locks all online
iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple
BLE-ding iPhones, not NFC bonkers, will drive trend - marketeers
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
Tor attack nodes RIPPED MASKS off users for 6 MONTHS
Traffic confirmation attack bared users' privates - but to whom?
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
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.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.