Russian men plead guilty to roles in massive credit card breach operation

Vladimir Drinkman and Dmitriy Smilianets, of Russia, pleaded guilty to their roles in a global operation that resulted in the compromise of 160 million credit card numbers and hundreds of millions of dollars in losses.

According to a Justice Department release, Drinkman pleaded guilty on Tuesday in federal court in New Jersey to one count of conspiracy to commit unauthorized access of protected computers, and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

Reuters reported that Smilianets pleaded guilty on Wednesday in federal court in New Jersey to conspiring to commit wire fraud.

Case documents and statements made in court alleged that Drinkman and Smilianets – along with three cohorts who are still at large – targeted networks of organizations involved in financial transactions, including NASDAQ, 7-Eleven, JetBlue and Heartland Payment Systems.

The case is said to be the largest data breach conspiracy ever prosecuted.

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