How Complaints At A Restaurant In Seattle Led To Arrest Of Alleged Credit Card Hacker In Romania

They probably didn’t know it at the time, but when customers at an Italian restaurant in Seattle complained that their credit card accounts appeared to have been compromised, they were setting off a chain of events that would ultimately result in the arrest of a man in Romania believed to have stolen at least 44,000 credit card numbers.

When the restaurant owner first heard about customers who said ID thieves used their card numbers within minutes of the cards being swiped at the eatery, he assumed he had a bad apple in his barrel.

But after looking into it, he decided it wasn’t one of his employees and brought in the authorities. This investigation resulted in the 2011 arrest of a Maryland man accused of using malware to steal credit card info from dozens of businesses. That man, who entered a guilty plea last month on bank fraud charges, is believed to have stolen at least 4,800 credit card numbers before his arrest.

The man also allegedly helped another, bigger ID thief in Europe build websites that allowed him to sell his thousands of purloined numbers. He assisted the authorities in locating the man who was recently arrested in Romania and extradited to the U.S.

Yesterday, this man, a Dutch national, entered a not guilty plea on federal computer hacking charges.

“People think that cyber criminals cannot be found or apprehended. Today we know that’s not true. You cannot hide in cyberspace,” said the U.S. Attorney prosecuting the case. “We will find you. We will charge you. We will extradite you and we will prosecute you.”

Dutch man charged with stealing Wash. credit cards [SeattlePI.com]

Comments

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  1. Magical Pig says:

    Team America, F*ck YEAH!

    • Taed says:

      That should be our national anthem. That or “Born to be Wild”. They’re both much easier to sing and infinitely more inspiring.

  2. nugatory says:

    “People think that cyber criminals cannot be found or apprehended. Today we know that’s not true. You cannot hide in cyberspace,” said the U.S. Attorney prosecuting the case. “We will find you. We will charge you. We will extradite you and we will prosecute you.”

    hahahaha, what grandstanding. Just Google “FBI darknet tor” and see the news articles that come up. WARNING: the results are not nice to read.

    • flyingember says:

      the fbi runs servers like that to catch criminals

      • Evil_Otto would rather pay taxes than make someone else rich says:

        You don’t know how Tor operates, I’m guessing. Tor works in such a way that the people who run nodes on the network *can’t* monitor traffic. Each node knows where the packet is coming from and where it’s going. That’s the limit of the information that you can glean from being a Tor node.

        There are limitations to the system, for example, requests and responses are sent ‘in the clear’ from the exit node to the destination server, unless that request is also encrypted by SSL.

  3. Torgonius wants an edit button says:

    “We will find you. We will check your campaign contributions. If they aren’t made to the correct people, then we will charge you. We will extradite you and we will prosecute you.”

  4. notserpmh says:

    I wonder if he lived in “hackerville” romania?

    http://www.wired.com/magazine/2011/01/ff_hackerville_romania/all/1

  5. who? says:

    If you want to know how this all works, read this: http://www.amazon.com/Kingpin-Hacker-Billion-Dollar-Cybercrime-Underground/dp/0307588688

    Fascinating book.

  6. The Brad says:

    I think that the US Attorney Just finished watching Liam Neeson in Taken.

  7. Important Business Man (Formerly Will Print T-shirts For Food) says:

    Well, how many people are afraid of prosecution? Do you really think they give a flying F-word? They’ve lived their glory in the money.

  8. graytotoro says:

    “People think that cyber criminals cannot be found or apprehended.”

    Am I supposed to be scared? Just wait until my hacker friends and I get together with our PowerBooks and hack a Gibson out of some phone booths at Grand Central Station.

  9. MaytagRepairman says:

    I am in Seattle. I like Italian. It is almost lunch. I am hungry enough to possibly not care if my credit card is stolen. The only 2 Italian places within reasonable walking distance are miserable chains. =(

  10. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    I just found out that my ATM card had been cloned and used in Flatbush New York. Great way to come home from vacation and find your account nearly cleared out.

    Just keep it in mind, consumerists – I pull on all the card readers to make sure there aren’t any scanners. This one must have been INSIDE the machine :(

  11. krom says:

    “We will find you. We will charge you. We will extradite you and we will prosecute you.”

    “We do not forgive. We do not forget. Expect us.”

  12. samonela says:

    Dope on the table.

  13. SteveHolt says:

    “We will find you. We will charge you. We will extradite you and we will prosecute you.”

    They’re starting to sound like Anon!

    Anyway, I’m glad they busted a big-time player and not just some little guy. I mean, yeah bust everyone who is pulling this shit, but it sounds like they got someone who was doing some massive damage.

  14. TasteyCat says:

    This is why you move a few hundred miles east to Ukraine or Russia, which have no extradition treaties with the US.

  15. Weekilter says:

    It’s Washington dagnabbit not Wash. Don’t be lazy slaggards.