Son of Russian MP Convicted on Hacking Charges
A court in Seattle has convicted the son of a Russian MP on charges related to hacking US businesses.
Roman Seleznev, who went by the alias Track2, was convicted of 38 of the 40 charges he faced, including wire fraud and intentional damage to a protected computer, according to The Seattle Times. He was also convicted on charges of possession of 15 or more unauthorized devices and two counts of identity theft.
Seleznev’s scheme included hacking into POS systems at US-based businesses, primarily restaurants across Washington and Idaho, to steal millions of credit card numbers that he then sold on the black market. His actions cost the credit card companies around $170 million (£130 million) in damages.
Seleznev is the son of Russian member of Parliament Valery Seleznev, a close ally of Vladimir Putin. Roman Seleznev was first identified by US authorities in 2010 and was arrested in the Maldives in 2014 before being extradited to the US. The laptop he was carrying at the time reportedly contained 1.7 million stolen credit card numbers. Russian authorities described his arrest as a ‘kidnapping’.
According to The Seattle Times, prosecutors at the trial presented three crucial pieces of evidence: the stolen credit card numbers, evidence that Seleznev had been searching online for any signs that he was being investigated, and what the newspaper calls a “password cheat sheet,” which allegedly linked Seleznev to hacking activities.
Seleznev’s defense team has already said it will appeal, based on the way in which the defendant was arrested in 2014. The defense also said there was a lack of definitive physical proof tying Seleznev to the hacking. The defense also suggested that his laptop had been tampered with while in police custody; prosecutors, however, said this was just a routine antivirus program running.
Seleznev is due to be sentenced in December. He could face over 30 years in prison, reports said. He is also currently facing similar charges in Nevada and Georgia.
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Source: Information Security Magazine