US court sentences Estonian hacker to prison
An Estonian national was sentenced Wednesday to seven years in prison for hacking schemes involving the theft or sale of more than 240,000 credit card numbers, officials said.
The Justice Department said Aleksandr Suvorov, 28, was sentenced by US District Judge Sandra Feuerstein in Central Islip, New York.
Suvorov, an accomplice to Albert Gonzalez, one of the most prolific identity thieves ever prosecuted by the US government, pleaded guilty in 2009 to wire fraud conspiracy for hacking into the restaurant chain Dave & Buster's database.
Some 80,000 credit card numbers were stolen in that scheme.
Suvorov also pleaded guilty in November 2011 to charges stemming from the sale of more than 160,000 stolen credit card numbers to an undercover agent with the US Secret Service.
He was ordered to pay $675,000 in restitution and to forfeit $300,000.
According to court documents, Suvorov, Albert Gonzalez and a third person set up a scheme to install a "packet sniffer" in the restaurant chain's database that sent credit card numbers to a co-conspirator in Ukraine.
They gained access to 11 Dave & Buster's restaurants and ultimately obtained data from 81,005 credit cards.
Gonzalez was sentenced in March 2010 to 20 years in prison for his role in the scheme, as well as hacks into a major payment processor and several retail networks.
The other co-conspirator was arrested in Turkey on related identity theft charges, and was sentenced there to 30 years in prison, according to the Justice Department.
In a separate incident in California, Suvorov and an accomplice conspired to sell more than 160,000 stolen credit card numbers to a buyer in San Diego who was an undercover agent. He was arrested in Germany and extradited.
"Mr. Suvorov participated in a scheme to sell thousands of credit card numbers stolen from unsuspecting consumers," said Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer.
"Computer hackers like Mr. Suvorov victimize businesses and individuals, posing a serious threat to their financial security. Today's sentence sends a clear message that cyber criminals operating abroad will suffer severe consequences for their crimes."
(c) 2012 AFP