Russia Furious Over US ‘Kidnapping’ Alleged Hacker

Russia has criticized the US for “kidnapping” the son of a Russian parliamentarian who is believed to be an infamous hacker. The arrest was made by the US Secret Service on July 5 in Guam.


Photo: Benoit Daoust / Shutterstock

Roman Seleznev (30) is believed to have been involved in the cyber-thefts of countless credit card data. According to the indictment, authorities have been searching for Seleznev for about three years. He is the son of Valery Seleznev, a member of Russian parliament.

“This is a monstrous lie and a provocative act,” said the MP on the charges levelled against the alleged hacker.

The Russian government’s official statement reads:

“We consider this as the latest unfriendly move from Washington. This is not the first time the US side, ignoring a bilateral treaty … on mutual assistance in criminal matters, has gone ahead with what amounts to the kidnapping of a Russian citizen.”

Seleznev and a number of cohorts are accused of stealing more than 200,000 credit card numbers from retail outlets. This includes the Broadway Grill hack from 2010 in Seattle. Seleznev is facing up to 30 years in prison and a $2 million fine.

“The indictment alleges that Seleznev created and operated infrastructure to facilitate the theft and sales of credit card data and used servers located all over the world to facilitate the operation,” says the indictment against him.

“This infrastructure included servers that hosted carding forum websites where cybercriminals gathered to sell stolen credit card numbers. The charges in the indictment include five counts of bank fraud, eight counts of intentionally causing damage to a protected computer, eight counts of obtaining information from a protected computer, one count of possession of fifteen or more unauthorized access devices (stolen credit card numbers), two counts of trafficking in unauthorized access devices and five counts of aggravated identity theft.”

The emergence of these charges is likely to aggravate an already tense relationship in Russia with the US over cyber matters.