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World’s Biggest Hacking Scheme Broken Up by NJ Law Enforcement

Law enforcement officials in New Jersey have announced the dismantling of what’s being described as the largest hacking and data breach scheme in U.S. history.

US Attorney for NJ Paul Fishman
US Attorney for NJ Paul Fishman (David Matthau, Townsquare Media NJ)

Four Russians and a Ukrainian are facing multiple charges in the case.

“They targeted some of the largest companies in the world, stealing millions of credit and debit card numbers and causing hundreds of millions of dollars in losses to their victims,” said U.S. Attorney for New Jersey Paul Fishman during a late morning news conference.

Read the Indictment here.

He also said “the conspirators in this computer enterprise breached the computer networks of at least 17 major retailers, financial institutions and payment processers.”

The defendants were identified as Russians Vladimir Drinkman, Aleksander Kalinin, Roman Kotov and Dmitriy Smilianets, and Ukrainian Mikhail Rytikov.

Smilianets is in U.S. custody and is expected to appear in New Jersey federal court next week. Drinkman is being held in the Netherlands pending extradition, and the other three defendants remain at large.

Fishman said Heartland Payment Systems Inc., a credit and debit card processing company based in Princeton, took the biggest hit in the scheme – losing about 200 million dollars.

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