Feeds

Russian MP fears US Secret Service cuffed his son for Snowden swap

Seleznev Jnr is 'prolific trafficker in stolen credit card data', it is alleged

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

The US Secret Service has announced the arrest of a man accused of being "one of the world's most prolific traffickers in stolen financial information," touching off a diplomatic firestorm in the process.

Roman Valerevich Seleznev, who goes by the online handle Track2, is accused of hacking into point-of-sale systems to steal credit card data, which he then allegedly sold online to fraudsters via servers he maintained.

He has been charged in Washington State with possessing more than 15 unauthorized access devices, bank fraud, aggravated identity theft, and unlawfully breaking into protected computer systems. He also faces similar charges in Nevada that could see him inside an American prison for the next 30 years.

"This important arrest sends a clear message: despite the increasingly borderless nature of transitional organized crime, the long arm of justice – and this Department – will continue to disrupt and dismantle sophisticated criminal organizations," said Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson in a statement [PDF].

"This arrest reflects the hard work by the U.S. Secret Service and our interagency and international partners, and we must continue close collaboration with the law enforcement community to counter this ever evolving threat."

But "the long arm of justice" may cause American prosecutors some problems in this case, not least because Seleznev's father is a member of the Russian parliament. Secret Service agents arrested Seleznev Junior as he was boarding a plane in the Maldives and put him on a plane to Guam, where he is currently being held.

His father, a member of Russia's ultra-nationalist Liberal Democratic Party, told Russian TV network RT that his son had been "kidnapped" by US forces and taken to Guam because American legal protections are not in force on the remote island. He said his son knows nothing about using computers and that his arrest may have been for other reasons.

"For all I know they may be demanding a ransom tomorrow. Or try to exchange him for [NSA whistleblower Edward] Snowden or somebody. One can only wonder," he said.

Russia's foreign ministry has also condemned the arrest, saying it broke international treaties with both Russia and the Maldives. It has requested that Seleznev be repatriated from Guam as soon as possible, but Secret Service Director Julia Pierson seems unlikely to compromise.

"Secret Service agents utilize state-of-the-art investigative techniques to identify and pursue cyber criminals around the world. This scheme involved multiple network intrusions and data thefts for illicit financial gain," she said.

"The adverse impact this individual and other transnational organized criminal groups have on our nation's financial infrastructure is significant and should not be underestimated." ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for
It's on by default – didn't you read the small print?
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
China is ALREADY spying on Apple iCloud users, claims watchdog
Attack harvests users' info at iPhone 6 launch
Carders punch holes through Staples
Investigation launched into East Coast stores
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
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.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.