Estonian hacker Sergei Nicolaevich Tšurikov, who infamously led a hacking ring that stole $9.4m from WorldPay in 2008 has been sentenced to 11 years in prison.
Tšurikov, who was extradited to the US to face trial and pleaded guilty, and a team of accomplices cracked the encryption and removed the withdrawal limits of ATMs belonging to RBS WorldPay, the US division of RBS, in just one day.
The hackers then sent out a team of “cashers” to withdraw money from the ATMs with fraudulent cards, who got to keep a cut of the winnings for themselves but the bulk of the cash always made its way back to Tšurikov and his crew.
The 11 year sentence is one of the longest sentences handed down to a hacker in a US court.
The FBI described Tšurikov and his cohorts as some of the “most sophisticated” hackers they had ever seen.
“In just one day in 2008, an American credit card processor was hacked in perhaps one of the most sophisticated and organized computer fraud attacks ever conducted,” commented US attorney Sally Quillian Yates.
“Almost exactly one year later, the leaders of this attack were charged. This prosecution was successful because of the efforts of the victim, and unprecedented cooperation from various law enforcement agencies worldwide.”
The hackers compromised over 2,100 ATMs in the US and several other countries including Russia, Canada, Hong Kong, and Japan.