Alleged Point-of-Sale Hacker Arrested3 Years After Indictment, Russian Faces Charges in Retail Incidents
More than three years after he was indicted, an alleged hacker accused of breaking into point-of-sale systems at retailers throughout the nation has been arrested by the U.S. Secret Service.
Roman Valerevich Seleznev, a Russian national, was indicted in March 2011. He was arrested by the Secret Service on July 5.
Seleznev, who also goes by the handle "Track2" online, allegedly hacked into POS systems throughout the U.S. between October 2009 and February 2011 and operated servers and international card forum websites to facilitate the theft and sale of stolen credit card data, the Secret Service says. He remains in custody pending trial.
Russia Reacts to Arrest
The Russian Foreign Ministry says the arrest of Seleznev is an "unfriendly step," according to state-run news agency Information Telegraph Agency of Russia. "As it became known, Russian citizen Roman [Seleznev] was detained in the international airport of the city of Male, the capital of Maldives," the ministry says. "On the same day, he was forced by agents of American Secret Service into a private jet and delivered to Guam Island."
The news agency also reports that Seleznev is the son of Russian legislator Valery Seleznev. "I am now in negotiations with the Russian Foreign Ministry," the legislator says. "Kidnapping is a crime. The country must protect its citizens, and Roman should go back to Russia."
Seleznev's father contends that his son has nothing to do with computer technologies, the news agency reports.
Charges Against Seleznev
Seleznev has been charged with 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, prosecutors say.
Seleznev is also charged in a separate indictment with participating in a racketeer influenced corrupt organization and conspiracy to engage in a RICO, as well as two counts of possession of 15 or more counterfeit and unauthorized access devices.
"This scheme involved multiple network intrusions and data thefts for illicit financial gain," says Julie Pierson, director of the U.S. Secret Service. "The adverse impact this individual and other transnational organized criminal groups have on our nation's financial infrastructure is significant and should not be underestimated."
The case is still under investigation by the U.S. Secret Service Electronic Crimes Task Force, and is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Washington.
The Secret Service declined to provide more details about the case.