Dr Smurf pleads guilty to hacking and stealing credit card details

Filed Under: Featured, Law & order

Dr SmurfA hacker who went by the online moniker of "Dr Smurf" on the underground DarkMarket cybercrime forum has pleaded guilty to charges of identify theft.

Tadas Petrauskas, a 23-year-old Lithuanian hacker who lives in Brick, New Jersey, was caught in 2008 after selling login names and passwords for $2,000 to an undercover FBI agent, and admitted breaking into computer systems and selling stolen credit card details via the DarkMarket website.

Unfortunately for Petrauskas, DarkMarket had been secretly under the control of FBI agents since 2006, who were using it as a means to gather information on those involved in computer crime.

The FBI were able to gather evidence from "Dr Smurf"'s email accounts, and arrested Petrauskas at JFK airport in New York, after he arrived on a flight from Belgium.

Petrauskas is scheduled to be sentenced on 30 October. Although unlikely that he will receive the maximum sentence, Petrauskas could technically face up to five years in prison for his crimes.

This shouldn't need to be said, but let me say it anyway. Don't hack into computers which don't belong to you. Not for fun. Not for money. It's against the law, and if you are caught the penalties you end up paying could be very serious.

If you're interested in learning more about DarkMarket, you should read Elinor Mills' great article at CNET where she interviewed FBI agent J Keith Mularski, who posed as a hacker called "Master Splynter", to infiltrate the underground forum: Q&A: FBI agent looks back on time posing as a cybercriminal.

Hat-tip: TribLive.

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4 Responses to Dr Smurf pleads guilty to hacking and stealing credit card details

  1. roy jones jr · 849 days ago

    You do need to say it. And say it again until folks are tired of hearing it and say it some more. I'm glad you added "Not for fun." part. Also add "don't do it as some resolution if your working in the IT field." Because not only will you get caught and lose your job and go to prison, now the company you worked for is in a bad light. The banhammer hurts us all.

  2. Gavin · 848 days ago

    While we're on the subject of DarkMarket and Mularski, I highly recommend the book by Kevin Poulsen, "Kingpin: How One Hacker Took Over the Billion-Dollar Cybercrime Underground".

  3. pip010 · 848 days ago

    How about jailing CTO for ultimate ignorance and incompetence demanding closed source security risk software as Microsoft and Cisco ?

  4. MrB · 844 days ago

    These people are criminals not hackers. Please stop abusing the term hacker, thanks,

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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.