Russian Hacker Accused of Stealing Thousands of Credit Card Numbers

Russian hacker Roman Valerevich Seleznev, known as "Track2," is accused of hacking into numerous American retailers and restaurants' computers and installing software that allowed him to steal customer credit card numbers that he later sold. Seleznev was arrested by U.S. Secret Service over the weekend in Guam.

According to the Associated Press, Seleznev stole more than 200,000 credit card numbers and sold 140,000, collecting a tidy sum of $2 million from 2009 to 2011. Among the businesses Seleznev hit:

The Washington indictment accuses him of hacking into computers at the Broadway Grill in Seattle and stealing 32,000 unique credit card numbers between December 2009 and October 2010.

Seleznev is also accused of stealing credit card data from "hundreds of retail businesses" throughout the U.S. They include several others in Western Washington, along with Schlotzsky's Deli in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho; Mary's Pizza Shack in Sonoma, California; Latitude Bar and Grill in New York; and the Phoenix Zoo, according to the indictment.

He faces a stack of charges in Washington State. From the New York Times:

He faces 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 15 or more unauthorized access devices, two counts of trafficking unauthorized access devices, and five counts of aggravated identity theft.

These charges are in addition to the racketeering and "two counts of possession of 15 or more counterfeit and unauthorized access devices" charges he's facing in Nevada.

Russia's foreign ministry has accused the United States of "kidnapping" Seleznev, saying in a statement, "We consider this the latest unfriendly move from Washington." They also claim that he is the son of Valery Seleznev, a member of Russia's parliament and "ultra-nationalist" Liberal Democratic Party. More from the New York Times:

In an interview with the Russian government's overseas broadcast network, Russia Today, Valery Seleznev, said his son could not be guilty of the charges because he had only average computer skills after he was disabled from an April 2011 terrorist bombing in Marrakesh, Morocco. (The bombing took place one month after the Justice Department first indicted Mr. Seleznev on hacking United States retailers from October 2009 to February 2011).

The elder Mr. Seleznev speculated his son's arrest was retaliation for Russia's harboring of former National Security Agency contractor Edward J. Snowden. "For all I know they may be demanding a ransom tomorrow or try to exchange him for Snowden or somebody," Mr. Seleznev told Russia Today.

The U.S. disputes these accusations. "Seleznev was arrested by another country at the request of the U.S. and was taken into U.S. custody following his expulsion from that country, which acted under its own laws," Peter Carr, a Justice Department spokesman told the Times. "He was advised of his rights and given consular notification. These actions also were in no way inconsistent with any treaty arrangements with Russia."

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