consultants are sandburs

Friday, July 26, 2013

We probably should feel fortunate as a nation that NSA spying on all of us was super-effective in so very promptly shutting down serious fiscal crime.

Strib carrying the AP feed:

US: 4 Russians, 1 Ukrainian hacked corporations over 7 years, losses in hundreds of millions

Article by: SAMANTHA HENRY , Associated Press
Updated: July 26, 2013 - 6:54 AM

NEWARK, N.J. — Four Russian nationals and a Ukrainian have been charged with running a sophisticated hacking organization that penetrated computer networks of more than a dozen major American and international corporations over seven years, stealing and selling at least 160 million credit and debit card numbers, resulting in losses of hundreds of millions of dollars.

[...] Princeton-based Heartland Payment Systems Inc., which processes credit and debit cards for small to mid-sized businesses, was identified as taking the biggest hit in a scheme starting in 2007 — the theft of more than 130 million card numbers at a loss of about $200 million.

Atlanta-based Global Payment Systems, another major payment processing company, had nearly 1 million card numbers stolen, with losses of nearly $93 million, prosecutors said.

[...] The indictment said the suspects sent each other instant messages as they took control of the corporate data, telling each other, for instance: "NASDAQ is owned." At least one man told others that he used Google news alerts to learn whether his hacks had been discovered, according to the court filing.

The defendants were identified as Vladimir Drinkman, 32, of Syktyvkar, Russia, and Moscow; Aleksander Kalinin, 26, of St. Petersburg, Russia; Roman Kotov, 32, of Moscow; Dmitriy Smilianets, 29, of Moscow; and Mikhail Rytikov, 26, of Odessa, Ukraine.

Smilianets is in U.S. custody and was expected to appear in federal court next week. His New York-based lawyer, Bruce Provda, said Smilianets was in the U.S. "sightseeing" when he was arrested. "It's a rather complex international charge of hacking," Provda said. "If it goes to trial, it's going to be a lengthy trial."

So, NSA, the agency tasked with spying on foreign mischief, moved with the alacrity that brought things to a prosecution after a mere seven years and a paltry $300+ million dollars. Since they now spy on all of us, be thankful that they do not do things ineptly. Thus justifying their massive budget and top-secret court arrangements.

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