In a stunning development, Russian citizen Roman Seleznev, the son of a Russian legislator close to Vladimir Putin, was sentenced to 27 years in prison for being the mastermind behind massive credit card hacking attacks in which he stole millions of credit card numbers and sold them on the Dark Web to other cybercriminals. Prosecutors estimated that the financial loss due to Seleznev’s crimes were a minimum of 170 million dollars and could be as high as a billion dollars. Seleznev’s crimes were made easier by the predominant use of magnetic strip credit cards at the time he was committing his crimes rather than the harder to steal chip credit cards largely now used.
Russian hackers dominate much of international cybercrime, but are permitted to commit their crimes with impunity in Russia so long as they do not attack Russian targets. In addition, Russia does not extradite indicted Russian hackers. Seleznev was arrested when he made the mistake of taking a vacation in the Maldives in 2014 where he was arrested with the help of Maldivian police and turned over to American authorities.
International cooperation is an essential element in combating cybercrimes. Much of the world is beginning to cooperate in this endeavor, but the absence of Russia in this effort is notable.
As for all of us as consumers, the best things we can do are to be vigilant and follow the precautions we constantly tell you about here at Scamicide.com, such as using your chip credit card whenever possible and refraining from using your debit card except at ATMs.