Russian held in Cyprus on US hacking charge
A Russian national accused of cyber attacks on the online retail giant Amazon.com in 2008 has been arrested in Cyprus, US officials said Thursday.
The Justice Department said authorities in Cyprus this week arrested Dmitry Olegovich Zubakha, 25, of Moscow, and that US officials would be seeking his extradition.
Zubakha was indicted in May 2011 for two denial of service attacks on Amazon.com in June 2008 that halted many transactions on the site.
The indictment, unsealed following his arrest on Wednesday, also included attacks on Priceline.com and eBay the same month.
Zubakha has been charged with conspiracy to cause damage to a protected computer and related counts. He is also charged with aggravated identity theft for a separate incident involving the possession of stolen credit card numbers in October 2009.
"These cyber bandits do serious harm to our businesses and their customers. But the old adage is true: the arm of the law is long," said US Attorney Jenny Durkan, who heads the Justice Department's Cybercrime and Intellectual Property Enforcement Committee.
"This defendant could not hide in cyberspace, and I congratulate the international law enforcement agencies who tracked him down and made this arrest."
According to the indictment, Zubakha mounted a denial of service attack -- in which websites are flooded with data requests -- against Amazon on June 6, 2008, and again on June 9, from a "botnet," a web of connected computers that he and others controlled.
Zubakha and a co-conspirator claimed credit for the attacks in hacker forums, according to the indictment.
His fellow hacker, identified as Sergey Viktorovich Logashov, who used the online name Jjoker, called Priceline.com and offered his services as a consultant to stop the denial of service attack, the indictment said.
Law enforcement traced the possession of more than 28,000 stolen credit card numbers to Zubakha and his co-conspirator.
If convicted in the US, Zubakha could face 10 years in prison for damage to computer systems and additional prison time for other charges.
The announcement came a day after an Estonian national was sentenced to seven years in prison for hacking schemes involving the theft or sale of more than 240,000 credit card numbers.
(c) 2012 AFP