The US Department of Justice says a Russian national, Vladimir Drinkman, has just coughed to being part of a ring that compromised as many as 160 million credit cards two years ago.
Drinkman was one of five people charged in 2013 over the mass breach, in which they breached card security at names like NASDAQ, 7-Eleven, and Dow Jones.
Just three of the targets suffered losses amounting to US$300 million, the original indictment said.
Now, the Department of Justice has released a statement saying that Drinkman has entered a guilty plea to one count of unauthorised computer access, and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
Drinkman was a particularly valuable scalp in the case. The DoJ’s statement alleges that he and Alexandr Kalinin specialised in getting access to target networks. Drinkman and a third member of the gang, Roman Kotov, would work together to mine the networks for credit card data, with Mikhail Rytikov allegedly providing their anonymous webhost and the fifth member, Dmitriy Smilianets, accused of selling the data and distributing the proceeds.
As well as the companies listed above, the group’s targets included Carrefour, JCP, Hannaford, Heartland, Wet Seal, Commidea, Dexia, JetBlue, Euronet, Visa Jordan, Global Payment, Diners Singapore, and Ingenicard.
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