Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Jury gets case of Russian man charged with hacking

25 August 2016, 11:50

Seattle - A jury is weighing whether the son of a Russian lawmaker hacked into U.S. businesses to steal credit card information and made millions selling the data to criminals.

"He is one of the most prolific credit card traffickers in history," Assistant U.S. Attorney Norman Barbosa said Wednesday of Roman Seleznev at the close of the eight-day trial. "He was stealing from merchants and banks all over the world."

The jury began deliberating following closing arguments just after noon and was released for the day at 16:30. They'll start back at 09:00 Thursday.

They must decide whether Seleznev is guilty of 40 charges that range from bank and wire fraud, hacking and identity theft.

The victim businesses that form the basis of the charges, mostly pizza restaurants in Washington state, had to spend tens of thousands of dollars to fix their computers and lost business and customer trust because of the hacks, prosecutors said. The thefts resulted in almost $170 million in credit card losses around the world, Barbosa said.

Sitting at his keyboard in Vladivostok, Russia, and using the online nicknames "Track2," ''Bulba" and "2Pac," Seleznev masterminded an international scheme dating back to 2008, Barbosa said.

During her closing argument, Seleznev's lawyer, Emma Scanlan, urged the jury to question whether prosecutors made a clear link between the prosecution's evidence, the malware put on unsuspecting businesses, the internet servers holding the credit card numbers, the online nicknames to hide his identity and the man sitting at the defense table.

Prosecutors claimed that Seleznev left his "digital fingerprints all over the crime scene," she said, but would an internet criminal who hides behind secret nicknames to protect his identity really use that same computer to send flowers to his wife or buy plane tickets using his real name?

"Is he a sophisticated hacker or is he a total idiot?" Scanlan asked. "You can't have it both ways."

When US Secret Service agents arrested Seleznev at a Maldives airport in 2014, they found 1.7 million stolen credit card numbers on his computer and a "password cheat sheet" for the computer servers that stored that stolen data, Barbosa said.

"His username and passwords tied him to everything," Barbosa said.

But the defense accused the agents involved in the investigation of tampering with the defendant's laptop computer after his arrest.

The agent who took the laptop failed to bring a special container, a "Faraday enclosure," that would protect it during transport, Scanlan said. And the agents didn't turn the laptop off or plug it in when they stored it in the Secret Service vault for 23 days, she said.

"We expect the US Secret Service, who specializes in these cases, would do it correctly," she said.

In his rebuttal, Assistant US Attorney Harold Chun said the evidence found on the laptop was only the "frosting on the cake." The investigation that took place over several years had already established that the hacker was Roman Seleznev. The malware on the victim computers, the usernames and passwords on the servers that held the stolen data are linked back to one man: Seleznev.

"The evidence from all of these places match up," Chun said.

- AP


Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...