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Ringleader of RBS WorldPay Heist Faces Charges in US

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the many-mules-make-light-work dept.

Crime 52

Late in 2008, the most sophisticated and well-coordinated international e-crime yet pulled off netted $9 million for its perpetrators. We discussed the RBS WorldPay heist when news about it emerged, and the indictments some months later. Now one of the accused ringleaders has been extradited from Estonia to face charges in the US. "...in the span of 12 hours around Nov. 8 [2008], the group hit 2,100 ATM terminals in 280 cities spanning the world, from the United States to Russia to Italy to Japan. ... Despite the technical and international challenges of the case, US investigators believe they were able to trace the scheme back to its origin. On Friday they brought one of the accused ringleaders from Estonia to Atlanta to face arraignment on several fraud charges — a rare appearance in US courts for an accused international hacker. Sergei Tsurikov, 26, of Tallinn, Estonia, pleaded not guilty at his arraignment to conspiracy to commit computer fraud, computer fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. ... The increasing scope of foreign attacks comes as college students around the world are focusing heavily on technology degrees only to emerge into a difficult job market with low pay, officials said."

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WorldPlay? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33177006)

Isn't it World Pay?

Re:WorldPlay? (5, Informative)

CrispBH (822439) | more than 4 years ago | (#33177110)

Yes, we use it for one of our websites. It is Royal Bank of Scotland WorldPay - as would make sense, as opposed to Worldplay. KDawson strikes again - obviously it'd be too much to ask him to spend 10 seconds editing as his job title would suggest.

http://www.rbsworldpay.com/ [rbsworldpay.com]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RBS_WorldPay [wikipedia.org]

Re:WorldPlay? (5, Funny)

selven (1556643) | more than 4 years ago | (#33177140)

Oh come on, be nice to KDawson, he was clearly just trying to make a play on worlds.

Re:WorldPlay? (1)

ae1294 (1547521) | more than 4 years ago | (#33177188)

Oh come on, be nice to KDawson, he was clearly just trying to make a play on worlds

No he needs to be fired and his job outsourced to Estonia...

Re:WorldPlay? (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 4 years ago | (#33177610)

Surely you mean Elbonia [dilbert.com] .

Re:WorldPlay? (1)

ooshna (1654125) | more than 4 years ago | (#33177888)

I really hope he doesn't get paid for this. Anytime you see KDawson being discussed you know its not a good thing.

GET IT RIGHT! (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33177254)

He was making a PAY on words, fucker!

Send Him to PMITA Prison (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33177104)

If he's found guilty, of course. Guys like these must be made examples off, so that it will deter future crimes like these.

I'm glad he's facing good old American justice. We are the best and the most aggressive in putting evildoers and troublemakers in prison, so justice should be well served.

Re:Send Him to PMITA Prison (4, Insightful)

cosm (1072588) | more than 4 years ago | (#33177160)

If he's found guilty, of course. Guys like these must be made examples off, so that it will deter future crimes like these.

I'm glad he's facing good old American justice. We are the best and the most aggressive in putting evildoers and troublemakers in prison, so justice should be well served.

I am sorry, I know you are a red-blooded American and all, but holy shit that is the most nationalist hunk of crap I have seen on here in awhile. Consensual crime? If the judge/jury see it as being *bad* enough, off to the rape cage. Are those people troublemakers or evildoers? That could be argued, moreover, argued against. Prisonplanet is more like it.

On second thought, we are definitely the best and most aggressive at putting socially unacceptable people in prison, and justice is rarely served. FTFY.

Re:Send Him to PMITA Prison (2, Insightful)

jhoegl (638955) | more than 4 years ago | (#33177192)

This is America sir, where white collar crimes are deemed a max of 3 months in a luxurious prison. However, if you steal all the money at once, its blue collar and considered a threat to national security. Thus the outrage of the OP.

Re:Send Him to PMITA Prison (1)

jimmydevice (699057) | more than 4 years ago | (#33177674)

Only if you are a well-heeled white collar type with political connections.
Other riffraff ( software engineers, mathematicians, scientists ) can expect
a good PMITA in something other than a federal "hedonism II" resort.
Not good, unless you are gay and into the rough trade.
NTTATRWT.

Re:Send Him to PMITA Prison (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33177536)

I thought the "We are the best and the most aggressive in putting evildoers and troublemakers in prison" line made it obvious the GP was trolling. Someone who truly believed in his sick perversion of justice would never use those words to describe it.

Re:Send Him to PMITA Prison (2, Informative)

selven (1556643) | more than 4 years ago | (#33179076)

You don't even have to offend anyone for laws to be ridiculously misapplied against you [economist.com]

Re:Send Him to PMITA Prison (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33181752)

If someone (namely the prosecutor and anyone involved in making the decision to maliciously, unjustly steal 8 years of my life) did this to me I think when I got out there would be a price to pay for the prosecutor and whoever had decided on the sentencing for me. Really, do people in power think there isn't a price for fucking someone over like that?

Re:Send Him to PMITA Prison (1)

selven (1556643) | more than 4 years ago | (#33181966)

To these people, it's not 'fucking someone over'. It's '+1 to my score'. Seriously, the way the system works these people think their job is to get as many convictions as possible, not to secure justice. That's why they stack charges to intimidate people who are innocent and make plea bargains with them, that's why they look for defects in laws as carefully as corporate tax lawyers but for the purpose of getting people locked up, and that's why the US has the highest incarceration rate in the world [wikipedia.org]

Re:Send Him to PMITA Prison (1)

ushering05401 (1086795) | more than 4 years ago | (#33177184)

Fear is only a deterrent until your opponent either believes they have nothing to lose.

On another note, yet another young'un. If these guys could just make it into their later thirties they could probably scam people the good old fashioned way: legally. Just have to get through youth.

Re:Send Him to PMITA Prison (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33177210)

Fear is only a deterrent until your opponent either believes they have nothing to lose.

He's got his black cherry to lose.

Re:Send Him to PMITA Prison (2, Interesting)

stonewallred (1465497) | more than 4 years ago | (#33177232)

Oh yes, especially if they are a minority. What is the saying? 5% of the world's population and 25% of the world's prison prisoners. Of course I wonder if they count the millions in chinese re-eduction camps run by the military and used as slaves to mass produce goods for sell on the American market, but I digress.

Re:Send Him to PMITA Prison (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33179430)

Oh yes, especially if they are a minority. What is the saying? 5% of the world's population and 25% of the world's prison prisoners. Of course I wonder if they count the millions in chinese re-eduction camps run by the military and used as slaves to mass produce...

At least, they don't count the millions of Tibetans, that by the official Chinese census figures never even have existed in the first place, despite having been counted years after years by the Tibetan government while it still had its own sovereignty.

And watching those videos on youtube where Chinese soldiers have no problem shooting Tibetan people like dogs for trying to flee Tibet, it's no wonder to me why the number of native people in Tibet is official dwindling down to almost nothing (that and the fact that the Chinese government will pay each Tibetan woman handsomely to get herself sterilized). So no, I'd say that 25% is rather high considering the fact that many countries like China do not even give an accurate count of all the prisoners they have, or even all the minorities they truly kill.

Translation (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33177314)

Hello, I'm your friendly translator here to convert the parent post into easily understood English. I will do so by pretending that I am the parent poster, so the following use of the words "I", "me", "my", and so on should be construed in that light.

Let me start off by saying that I approve of forcible rape in prison. I believe it is a good and right thing to promote among the prison population. You see, it acts as an effective deterrent to those who are considering a criminal act. Once they start thinking that their asshole might get torn asunder by the stereotypical black-dude-in-prison we so lovingly call "Bubba", they should reconsider their actions.

In fact, I would go so far as to say we should hold rape contests. Prizes are to be awarded to the prisoners who cause the most amount of bleeding, to those who have the most stamina, and a whole array of other achievements. Prison guards can identify prisoners deserving of extra-special justice and protect the rapists who go to work on the assholes of those prisoners. Through judicious use of a billy club and handcuffs, rape victims can be made to endure all sorts of demeaning acts upon their bodies.

All this because if you are sent to prison, then you must be sub-human and you deserve to have any human rights stripped away from you. I love American justice -- the land of the free and the home of the brave proudly supports waterboarding and forcible anal rape in prisons.

Thank you.

Re:Send Him to PMITA Prison (1)

zoomshorts (137587) | more than 4 years ago | (#33179510)

"The three leading suspects have been convicted in Estonia. In the United States they face up to 20 years in prison for wire fraud charges and between 5 and 10 years for computer fraud charges."

USA World police (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33177106)

Aint it cool how we can go grab someone from another country and force him to stand trial using our laws and rules.

Oh wait.. no... it's that other thing.... pretty stupid.

How long until some guy gets dragged into muslim land to stand trial for something their laws say. Well maybe not muslim land. we hate those guys... but what about someplace like china..
They have the pull to get the other countrys to dance to their tune.

Re:USA World police (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33177146)

Aint it cool how we can go grab someone from another country and force him to stand trial using our laws and rules.

I hope they come get you for stupidity.

Re:USA World police (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33177176)

Uh.. the guy allegedly committed crimes and hit ATMs in the United States. That is breaking US laws, so they do have jurisdiction and standing.

Why shouldn't he have to answer the US government for that?

Yeah I thought so.

Re:USA World police (1)

B4light (1144317) | more than 4 years ago | (#33177252)

Because he's not in the US anymore

Re:USA World police (1)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 4 years ago | (#33177390)

Apologies if you were actually being sarcastic or something, but... if someone kills you, and hops a plane to say, Portugal, they should get away with killing you, because they're not in the US any more?

Crimes committed over the internet, or a country claiming its laws were violated by someone who was never within their borders is a different matter, but if ATMs in the US were hit, this seems like a pretty clear case of "broke the law, get held responsible."

Re:USA World police (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33179178)

"Crimes committed over the internet, or a country claiming its laws were violated by someone who was never within their borders is a different matter,"

You personally might think so, but the reality is a little different, US allies are happy to handover their citizens for crimes commited (allegedly ) without ever being in the US (english Pentagon hacker, dutch idiots sending drug using postal system). And the rumour is that there always is something called rendition when someone fails to cooperate.

"but if ATMs in the US were hit, this seems like a pretty clear case of \"broke the law, get held responsible.\""

So what about all those other countries that got hit?

Re:USA World police (1)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 4 years ago | (#33180500)

Mostly I just meant it's not black and white for the other crimes. As for the other countries that got hit, well, first come first served. If he's not convicted in the US for whatever reason, and they think they can make a case, go for it. I'm sure the US wouldn't have a problem shipping him to someone else for a shot if they don't get it. And if the US does convict him, go for the other people involved. It's not like he was in it alone. There's plenty of people to try.

Re:USA World police (1)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 4 years ago | (#33179408)

Why should the US get dibs on him?

ATM's in many countries were involved.

Do they have any less right to prosecute him?

Or is this just one of those "AMERICA NUMBER ONE!!! WOOO!" pieces of bullshit where you automatically assume your countries whims are more important than all others?

Re:USA World police (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 4 years ago | (#33179540)

Nah, we'll let you pay for jailing the dude. Plus our human rights are stronger than yours so he'll have a worse time in your jails.

Re:USA World police (1)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 4 years ago | (#33180514)

Or is this just one of those "AMERICA NUMBER ONE!!! WOOO!" pieces of bullshit where you automatically assume your countries whims are more important than all others?

I'm Canadian, you fuckhead. But nice try.

Why should the US get dibs on him?

I'm guessing they get dibs because they either asked first, or had the strongest case amongst those asking.

Re:USA World police (1)

KahabutDieDrake (1515139) | more than 4 years ago | (#33177606)

The GUY has probably never been in the USA before now. HE didn't hit any ATMs in the US at all. In fact, from my understanding, he didn't hit any ATMs at all anywhere. What he did was figure out how to fool the world pay system, and distributed that information to third parties for a cut of their take.

Re:USA World police (4, Insightful)

hldn (1085833) | more than 4 years ago | (#33177190)

do you know how extradition works? we didn't "go grab him." we ask another government if they'd kindly send someone over here as we have an issue to discuss with the person.

perhaps he should have moved to a country that doesn't have an extradition treaty with the united states. (estonia has since 1935.)

Re:USA World police (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33177542)

perhaps he should have moved to a country that doesn't have an extradition treaty with the united states. (estonia has since 1935.)

It should maybe be clarified that, although Estonia has had an extradition treaty with the US since 1935, it hasn't been effective for most of that time.

For most of the time the treaty has been in place, Estonia was under the rule of the Soviets, and I suspect that there would have been no chance of getting someone extradited during that time. It was only from 1934 until late 1939 and then from 1991 that it was likely to happen.

However, your point stands as a good one, a smart Estonian would probably have shuffled over to Belarus or Russia after committing a crime of this magnitude to avoid any chance of extradition.

Re:USA World police (2, Informative)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 4 years ago | (#33178536)

Yemen doesn't have an extradition treaty with the United States. In fact, extradition is prohibited in the Yemeni Constitution.

Wat do? Ask president Ali Abdullah Saleh if we can go into Yemen and kill the bad guys ourselves. [go.com]

RBS Worldpay (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33177118)

Just FYI, it's RBS WorldPay, not WorldPlay

Peanuts (1)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 4 years ago | (#33177164)

9mil? Pah, the guy won't even get an interview for a mail room gig at Goldman Sachs. 9 mil, what a joke.

Re:Peanuts (1)

erichill (583191) | more than 4 years ago | (#33178024)

I, too, find $9 million to be pretty unimpressive given the supposed potential in this kind of crime. It sounds to me like the system worked pretty well.

college students? (0, Flamebait)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 4 years ago | (#33177166)

Since when did book-learned college students accomplish anything? Look instead to the dropouts and the kids who went to the lower, more "technical" schools.

Ringleaders stupid! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33177256)

I think the flaw here was the ringleader(s) probably had was anonymity. They can't be identified by the cashers or tracked back by mail or cameras (because they went to a bank to pick up money, computer ip address etc), or other means. The timing sounds like it was done right. I doubt the FBI and law enforcement and everybody were able to pick up on it and trace it all fast enough to catch up with them in 11 hours. However I wouldn't have risked it because who knows when they picked up on it really. They were 'hacking' too. With somewhat legitimately obtained wealth nobody would have noticed the withdraws of significant quantities of cash. Or less likely. Even if they did the money would be legitimate as far as anybody could tell. The ringleader would still want to use cashers though just to be safe and a hangman to simultaneously get access to the cash without ever coming into contact with security cameras or people who could identity them as the ringleader. That would make it impossible to locate the funds after they go missing. The hangman would be the last person with the funds. And the hangman would only know he left the bag at a location x which has no cameras for the ringleader to pick up. Assuming this is all done within a very short period of time there just won't be anybody but the hangman to go back to and the cashers. Now how to spend that money? You might also have other issues to deal with like the IRS. If are you spending money and reporting no income they'll do certain types of reverse audits? I forget what it is called. But in any case there are problems to be solved... But I suppose those could be resolved simply by simulating a fake business that gets cash from fake customers and then reporting those "profits" to the IRS. I spent $100 on advertising and got back $2,000 on my return in cash. I suppose the only question that then needs to be answered is what business might you be able to convince them you are a success at you can make such profits with investing only $100 in and making $2,000 return? Maybe art? Time to buy some art I guess and pain in case the IRS comes round.

Atlanta? (1)

RCC42 (1457439) | more than 4 years ago | (#33177294)

They shipped him from Estonia to Atlanta? Poor guy. No crime is worth going to Atlanta.

Fraud fraud fraud fraud (2, Funny)

devnullkac (223246) | more than 4 years ago | (#33177388)

Have you got anything without fraud?

Well, there's fraud, egg, sausage, and fraud; that's not got much fraud in it.

I don't want ANY fraud!

$9 million is chump change (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33177470)

Late in 2008, the most sophisticated and well-coordinated international e-crime yet pulled off netted $9 million for its perpetrators.

I thought the banking bailout was for billions?

Ahem... (4, Interesting)

pedantic bore (740196) | more than 4 years ago | (#33177474)

Late in 2008, the most sophisticated and well-coordinated international e-crime yet pulled off netted $9 million for its perpetrators.

It's the "most sophisticated and well-coordinated" one you know about, anyway....

Not so sophisticated and well-coordinated that it remained a secret, or that the ringleader didn't get caught, apparently.

Re:Ahem... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33177492)

Well, they think they caught the ringleader. lol

Meanwhile the guy is living well. But where did that las million go? And what is with the ringleaders constant denial of being the ringleader? Who believes this story about how he dropped the bag of money at that gas station bathroom.

Re:Ahem... (1)

shermo (1284310) | more than 4 years ago | (#33185454)

I'm surprised (and slightly disappointed) the most sophisticated e-crime only netted $9 million.

Dr. Evil: "Here's the plan. We get the warhead, and we hold the world ransomed for.....Nine MILLION DOLLARS!!"
No.2: "Ahem...Well, don't you think we should maybe ask for *more* than Nine million dollars? Nine million dollars isn't exactly a lot of money these days. Virtucon alone makes over nine billion dollars a year!"
Dr. Evil: "Really?"
No.2: "Mm-hmm."
Dr. Evil: "That's a number. Okay then. We hold the world ransom for.....One hundred..BILLION DOLLARS!!"

Spam, egg bacon spam, bacon spam,.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33177538)

pleaded not guilty at his arraignment to conspiracy to commit computer fraud, computer fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.

Reminds me of the Monty Python spam sketch...

The increasing scope of foreign attacks comes as.. (1)

el_tedward (1612093) | more than 4 years ago | (#33178284)

"The increasing scope of foreign attacks comes as college students around the world are focusing heavily on technology degrees only to emerge into a difficult job market with low pay, officials said."

If you're coming out of college right now with a degree in some form Information or Computer security, then that's probably not going to be the case. From what I've heard, job placement for graduates at my university is pretty good.

Re:The increasing scope of foreign attacks comes a (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33178326)

If you are good then you wouldn't get caught. These guys weren't so good! That's probably why they couldn't find a job and why they were doing what they were doing.

Re:The increasing scope of foreign attacks comes a (1)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 4 years ago | (#33178862)

Catch is in a tough job market, trust takes precedence over qualifications. Especially when you start squeezing down salaries of your computer IT staff. Stories like this will ramp up the fear factor, any hint of untrustworthiness will make successful job applications pretty hard especially in an interconnected world.

The other big thing of course, 'identity theft' (the credit card company lie for defrauding the accepted the false identity), ain't no such thing as identity theft in the cash economy, apart from of course stealing the identity of the currency itself.

Also get caught as a player and you will likely spend the rest of your life on an automated global digital watch list, every minute of every hour of every day, eww. Based upon past paranoid practices, expect stuff like required notifications to ISP at account opening for any convicted network cracker, even required notification to any computer based organisation that requests a log in.

When economic conditions are tough, is the worst time to play, as governments will seek distraction and people are looking to blame anybody for everything. Of course when conditions are tough, that's when the temptation is the greatest, interesting times.

chickenfeed (1)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 4 years ago | (#33180758)

They hit 2,100 ATM terminals in 280 cites and only cleared $9 million? Presumably they needed at least several hundred people for this. So each guy's take is a few thousand. The bosses maybe get half. And even if they hadn't got caught, they couldn't expect to be able to go back for a second taste.

I wouldn't say no to a few million profit, but it seems a very small return for compromising so many banks. Might have been better to have sold the method to the banks.

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