Friday, August 20, 2010

Prolific Russian hacker detained in France

12 August, 2010 (RT News agency). One of the world’s most successful stolen credit card data sellers has been arrested in France at the request of the US Justice Department, the American body’s website states. A resident of Moscow, Vladislav Khorokhorin, aged 27, was detained in Nice while boarding a plane to the Russian capital on August 7, 2010. American authorities claim he is also a citizen of Ukraine and Israel. Being charged with credit card fraud, the hacker is facing a penalty of up to 12 years in prison and a US$250,000 fine. He was arrested by French law enforcement bodies. The issue of his extradition to the United States is being currently considered. According to the information published on US Department of Justice website, a federal grand jury accused Khorokhorin of access device fraud and aggravated identity theft in November 2009. The young man dealt in the stealing and trafficking of credit card information. Nicknamed “BadB”, he used Internet forums to find stolen data buyers. Under the guise of a client willing to buy some credit card information, US Secret Service agents managed to urge the hacker to sell him the required data. This constituted the grounds for the cyber-criminal’s arrest.
American authorities consider Khorokhorin to be among the founders of an international cyber-criminal network called CarderPlanet – “one of the most sophisticated organizations of online financial criminals in the world”, according to the US Secret Service Assistant Director for Investigations, Michael Merritt. The officer claims the network has been “repeatedly linked to nearly every major intrusion of financial information reported to the international law enforcement community.”
The criminal network employed about 7,000 people, based mostly in Eastern Europe and CIS countries. The members of the organization specialized on stealing clients’ data from Western banks and other organizations related to credit card numbers. American secret services shut down the network in 2004. Since that time they have been tracking criminals at large.
“Nowadays, the annual financial damage caused by cyber criminals around the world runs into hundreds of billion of dollars. This business employs thousands of people in many countries. As the world becomes linked closer by computers and Internet, the number of such criminals increases,” an investment trust analyst, Tatyana Menkova, informed Russian website “”.
The Russian analyst doesn’t seem to be as concerned about cyber criminals as American authorities are. In Tatyana Menkova’s opinion, most so-called carders are inexperienced amateurs and cannot seriously endanger banks. Basically, cardholders themselves and their banks’ computer security departments are responsible for the protection of their funds, the analyst concludes.