Russian cracker helps hoist $10m, fined $310k

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Russian cracker helps hoist $10m, fined $310k

New laws help cracker duck jail time.

A Russian cracker has sold two St Petersburg apartments to cover a $309,000 fine for his role in hacking into the Royal Bank of Scotland's RBS WorldPay service and stealing more than $10 million from ATMs.

Viktor Pleshchuk plead guilty and was slapped with six years' probation and fined under new Russian laws that allow economic criminals to evade harsh punishment if they financially reimburse victims, local news outlet Fontanka reported.

The cracker sold the properties and two cars, a BMW and Lada Kalina, initially worth around $245,000 for a 30 percent profit, all of which went to the bank.

The sell-off saved him up to six years in jail, according to Fontanka.

Fellow cracker Eugene Anikin received three years' probation and will sell his two Siberia properties in October to pay for fines.

The lighter punishments were introduced under reforms to the Russian Criminal Code by President Dmitry Medvede.

Pleschchuk and Anikin were arrested in and FSB and FBI sting last year for stealing customer information from the bank in an operation the US called “perhaps the most sophisticated and organised computer fraud attack ever conducted”.

Much of the fraud was run through a US Atlanta branch. The stolen $10 million was scored in less than 12 hours and withdrawn from ATMs spread across more than 280 cities.

The hackers had cracked card PINs and Pleschchuk helped exploit vulnerabilities in the bank's network.

Encryption on one of the bank's databases was also cracked to allow daily withdrawal levels to be boosted ahead of the lightning hiest.

The cash was laundered into properties in Russia, cars and hidden in public lockers. 

Copyright © SC Magazine, Australia

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