Russian National Pleads Guilty for Role in Largest Known Data Breach Conspiracy Ever Prosecuted
This week, Vladimir Drinkman, a Russian national who was extradited to the U.S. earlier this year, admitted his role in a worldwide hacking and data breach conspiracy that targeted major corporate networks.
Drinkman, who played a key role in the largest such conspiracy prosecuted in the U.S., pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit unauthorized access of protected computers and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
“Defendants like Vladimir Drinkman, who have the skills to break into our computer networks and the inclination to do so, pose a cutting edge threat to our economic well-being, our privacy and our national security,” said U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman of the District of New Jersey. “The crimes to which he admitted his guilt have a real, practical cost to our privacy and our pocketbooks. Today’s guilty plea is a tribute to the skill and perseverance of the agents and prosecutors who brought him to justice.”
According to court documents and statements, Drinkman and his co-defendants allegedly hacked into the networks of corporations engaged in financial transactions, retailers that received and transmitted financial data, and other institutions with information that the conspirators could exploit for profit. The conspirators hacked the networks of NASDAQ, 7-Eleven, Carrefour, JCP, Hannaford, Heartland, Wet Seal, Commidea, Dexia, JetBlue, Dow Jones, Euronet, Visa Jordan, Global Payment, Diners Singapore and Ingenicard.
“This hacking ring’s widespread attacks on American companies caused serious harm and more than $300 million in losses to people and businesses in the United States,” said Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell.
“This cyber case highlights the effectiveness of global law enforcement partnerships in the detection and dismantling of criminal enterprises targeting U.S. citizens,” said Director Joseph Clancy of the U.S. Secret Service. “The support of U.S. Attorney’s offices and the resulting plea enhances the Secret Service’s commitment to vigorously pursue transnational threats to the U.S. financial infrastructure.”
Drinkman’s sentencing is scheduled for January 2016.
Posted in The Takedown