Eight Indicted in N.Y. for $45 Million Cyber Theft

May 13, 2013

On Friday, the U.S. Department of Justice indicted eight individuals in a global cybercrime operation officials said netted $45 million in a matter of hours. Federal prosecutors arrested seven of the eight defendants and confirmed that the eighth had been murdered on April 27.

The sophisticated operation breached the security of two payment processors, stealing prepaid card data while removing withdrawal limits and raising account balances on the cards. The stolen account information was used to clone cards and withdraw funds from ATMs all over the world. Prosecutors in New York brought the case because the defendants were based in New York and nearly $3 million of the theft occurred in New York. The operation comprised two separate intrusions followed by more than 40,000 ATM transactions in dozens of countries.

Published reports indicated that one of the breached processors was Pune, India-based Electra Card. According to the DoJ, the banks that issued the compromised prepaid accounts were RAKBANK of the United Arab Emirates and the Bank of Muscat in Oman. If convicted, the defendants face a maximum sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment on multiple money laundering charges and 7.5 years for conspiracy to commit access device fraud.