US Court sentenced Russian hacker Roman Seleznev to 27 years in jail for hacking

Pierluigi Paganini April 22, 2017

Roman Seleznev, the son of the prominent Russian Parliament member Valery Seleznev was sentenced to 27 years in jail for hacking.

The Russian hacker Roman Seleznev, aka Track2, was sentenced to 27 years in prison, he was convicted of causing $170 million in damage by hacking into point-of-sale systems.

This sentence is the longest one ever imposed in the United States for a hacking-related case.

On the defense side, the Seleznev’s defense attorney Igor Litvak explained that a 27-years sentence in prison is an absolutely inappropriate sentence for cyber theft.

Roman Seleznev is the son of one of the most prominent Russian lawmaker and Russian Parliament member Valery Seleznev.

Roman Seleznev

According to prosecutors, Seleznev targeted computers belonging to both small businesses and large financial institutions. Authorities arrested the Russian expert in the Maldives in 2014, they seized his laptop containing more than 1.7 million credit card numbers.

The Russian Foreign Ministry judged the extradition to the US as a “kidnapping” and against all norms of international law.

The stolen credit card data were offered for sale on multiple “carding” websites.

After an August 2016 trial, Seleznev was convicted on 38 counts:

  • 10 counts of Wire Fraud
  • 9 counts of possession of 15 or more unauthorized access devices
  • 9 counts of obtaining information from a Protected Computer
  • 8 counts of Intentional Damage to a Protected Computer
  • 2 counts of Aggravated Identity Theft

“A 32-year-old Vladivostok, Russia, man was sentenced today to 27 years in prison for his computer hacking crimes that caused more than $169 million in damage to small businesses and financial institutions, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Blanco of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes of the Western District of Washington. “

“Roman Valeryevich Seleznev, aka Track2, was convicted in August 2016, of 38 counts related to his scheme to hack into point-of-sale computers to steal credit card numbers and sell them on dark market websites.  U.S. District Judge Richard A. Jones of the Western District of Washington imposed the sentence.” reads the press release published by the DoJ.

In federal court in Seattle, prosecutors asked for a 30-year prison term because Roman Seleznev “became one of the most revered point-of-sale [POS] hackers in the criminal underworld.”

Roman Seleznev was the mastermind behind a profitable hacking scheme that implemented automated techniques to hack into POS systems and deliver malware to steal credit card data.

According to the prosecutors said his hacking campaign hit more than 3,700 businesses.

“Many of the businesses targeted by Seleznev were small businesses, and included restaurants and pizza parlors in Western Washington, including Broadway Grill in Seattle, which was forced into bankruptcy following the cyber assault.  Testimony at trial revealed that Seleznev’s scheme caused approximately 3,700 financial institutions more than $169 million in losses.” continues the press release.

Roman Seleznev asked US District Court Judge Richard Jones for clemency due to his medical issues, the man explained he was injured in 2011 terrorist bombing in Morocco.

Jones rejected the Seleznev’s argumentation and told the man that the Morocco bombing “was an invitation to right your wrongs and recognize you were given a second chance in life,” but instead, he “amassed a fortune” at the expense of thousands of small business.

“Today is a bad day for hackers around the world,” said U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes. “As Mr. Seleznev has now learned, and others should take note – we are working closely with our law enforcement partners around the world to find, apprehend, and bring to justice those who use the internet to steal and destroy our peace of mind.”

“Whether the victims are multi-national banks or small pizza joints, we are all victims when our day-to-day transactions result in millions of dollars ending up in the wrong hands,” Hayes added.

According to the Russian MP Valery Seleznev, the sentence was “passed by man-eaters” and that his son was “abducted.”

“My son was tortured because being in jail in a foreign country after abduction is torture in itself. He is innocent,” he told RIA Novosti news agency.”

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Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs –Roman Seleznev, cybercrime)

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