Feeds

$9m RBS WorldPay hack mastermind avoids jail

Extradition unlikely

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

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. ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft: We plan to CLEAN UP this here Windows Store town
Paid-for apps that provide free downloads? Really
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
Who needs hackers? 'Password1' opens a third of all biz doors
GPU-powered pen test yields more bad news about defences and passwords
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Hear ye, young cyber warriors of the realm: GCHQ wants you
Get involved, get a job and then never discuss work ever again
Chinese hackers spied on investigators of Flight MH370 - report
Classified data on flight's disappearance pinched
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
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.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.