November 14, 2018, 5:31

Grand Theft Hack: Russian Geek Faces Decades in Jail Over Historic Data Theft

Grand Theft Hack: Russian Geek Faces Decades in Jail Over Historic Data Theft

NEW YORK (Sputnik) – A US court is set to sentence Russian national Vladimir Drinkman on Thursday for his part in the largest data breach conspiracy ever prosecuted in the United States.

Drinkman pleaded guilty to involvement in hacking major corporations and institutions to steal and resell data, including more than 160 million credit card numbers.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the US District Court of New Jersey confirmed to Sputnik on Wednesday that the sentencing was still scheduled for February 1. The US court rescheduled the hearing for the case at least six times in the past, and further delays are still possible, the court spokesperson added.

In 2015, Drinkman, 34-years old at the time, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit unauthorized access of protected computers and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Thus, the Russian national faces up to 30 years in prison and up to $1 million in fines, and will be deported to Russia after serving the sentence, according to US prosecutors.

The Justice Department said he and four other co-conspirators penetrated the networks of major US corporations and institutions to steal data which they sold directly or through online forums to individuals and organizations.

The hacked computer networks included those of NASDAQ, Dow Jones, JetBlue, 7-Eleven, and JC Penny, among others.

“As a result of the scheme, financial institutions, credit card companies and consumers suffered hundreds of millions of dollars in losses — including more than $300 million in losses reported by just three of the corporate victims,” the Justice Department said in a press release on September 15, 2015, after he pleaded guilty.”

Drinkman was arrested in the Netherlands in 2012 and extradited to the United States in February. Russia has expressed concern over the Dutch authorities’ decision to extradite Drinkman to the United States, despite arguments in favor of his primary extradition to Russia in compliance with the 1999 US-Russian treaty on mutual legal assistance in criminal matters.

Sourse: sputniknews.com

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