Russian hacker avoids jail after $9 million RBS WorldPay ATM heist

Filed Under: Data loss, Law & order

ATMIn late 2008, electronic payment service RBS WorldPay revealed that a gang of hackers had broken into its computer systems, stolen information to help them create cloned debit cards, boosted their withdrawal limits and stolen huge amounts of money from ATMs around the world.

Mules operated by the gang stole a total of over $9 million from more than 2,100 ATMs in at least 280 cities worldwide. All it took them was a jaw-dropping 12 hours to pull off their heist.

27-year-old Yevgeny Anikin was a key member of the cybercriminal gang, and purchased a luxury car and two apartments in the Russian city of Novosibirsk before being caught in 2009.

Remarkably, according to local media reports, Anikin has avoided jail. A court told him today that we would receive a five-year suspended sentence instead of a spell in prison.

Anikin says that he has begun to repay the money he stole and admitted his guilt:

"I want to say that I repent and fully admit my guilt," Anikin told the court.

Well, it's good that he has said he is terribly sorry - but I wonder if a stiffer sentence would have been handed out if, say, he had been tried in a US court? Is Russia being tough enough on cybercriminals?

Let's not forget that at the time of the robbery, Acting United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said that it was "perhaps the most sophisticated and organized computer fraud attack ever conducted."

In September last year another member of the gang, 29-year-old Viktor Pleshchuk, of St. Petersburg, Russia, received a six year suspended sentence, after agreeing to assist the authorities.

, , , , , ,

You might like

5 Responses to Russian hacker avoids jail after $9 million RBS WorldPay ATM heist

  1. k8-e · 1302 days ago

    No doubt that's the only way the police/FBI etc. can stay ahead of these guys... lenient sentencing in exchange for their 'expertise'.

  2. herebutthere · 1302 days ago

    but I wonder if a stiffer sentence would have been handed out if, say, he had been tried in a US court? Is Russia being tough enough on cybercriminals?

    No, in the US, he would have been hired by the Feds

  3. gfenesx · 1302 days ago

    that is due to Russia don't speak loud about what they have or what they do unlike u.s.a

  4. geolocation · 1302 days ago

    if stoled money are from capitalists, then he's now part of the 'ruling' class in his country.
    if he had stolen from the Russian gov / mafia we wouldn't have heard of him ...
    that's how things are in some parts of the world

  5. xRussian · 1301 days ago

    He is being praised by common Russian people. "He stole from foreign company from a foreign country deserves a medal."

    Judge explained the decision that Anikin fully admitted his guilt, actively cooperated with the investigation and trial, was involved in uncovering crimes, besides he has a dependent minor child.

    All it takes to be a hacker in Russia is to agree to cooperate with Russian government when caught and have a child.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

About the author

Graham Cluley runs his own award-winning computer security blog, and is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and gives computer security presentations. Send Graham an email, subscribe to his updates on Facebook, follow him on Twitter and App.net, and circle him on Google Plus for regular updates.