It is rare that a hacker is captured, but when one is, it’s headline news. Does the story of an apprehended cybercriminal get such airtime because it’s big news, or because it happens so rarely?
From our point of view, it’s safe to say it’s that latter reason. Truth be told, for every hacker captured, there are untold multitudes still hard at work, toiling away in their criminal pursuits without any fear of the law. After all, why should they be?
When it comes to virtual crime, malicious intruders have numbers on their side. There’s far more of them than there are authorities to bring them to justice. So while we present this story of a Russian hacker who was recently captured, we want to preface it by pointing out that this type of situation is rare, and that for the most part, the vast majority of cybercrime goes unpunished. For that reason, it’s imperative for all businesses to implement the enterprise security that will keep breachers at the gates.
Russian Hacker Nabbed After 2010 Attack
Back in 2010, Roman Valerevich Seleznev, now 30, allegedly hacked into a popular Seattle restaurant called Broadway Grill and directly caused roughly $1.7 million in credit card company losses, according to Credit Union Times. That restaurant ended up shutting its doors in 2013 due, in no small part, to the fraudulent episode.
Seleznev is a somewhat high-profile hacker known for carrying out other point-of-sale (POS) intrusions spanning at least between October 2009 and February 2011. Given that Seleznev has been a high-profile target of authorities for some time, it’s no surprise that there’s a litany of charges against him.
Justice is Likely for the Many-Aliased Hacker
One precursory glance at Seleznev’s indictment reveals a defendant a little different than your average fraudster. The main difference between Seleznev and a different kind of criminal? The Russian’s name on the indictment document takes up a full 10 lines, which is precisely the number of different aliases he uses (among the more interesting ones are “Bulba” and “schmak”).
Seleznev’s dependence on a litany of monikers is symbolic of the hacking community as a whole — nobody is who they say they are, and everybody is a shape-shifter. No wonder they’re so hard to pin down.
According to Capitol Hill Seattle, representatives from the U.S. Department of Justice are being cagey about exactly how Seleznev was captured, but it has been revealed that he was apprehended in Guam — like many cybercriminals, it seems Seleznev does his fair share of traveling.
“Cyber crooks should take heed: You cannot hide behind distant keyboards. We will bring you to face justice,” U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan, chairperson of the Justice Department’s Cybercrime and Intellectual Property Enforcement Subcommittee of the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee, said in an announcement about the 30-year-old’s arrest.
However, Durkan’s statement isn’t entirely true, since the world still abounds with hackers too numerous to capture. For all businesses out there, don’t rely on the Justice Department to deal with cybercrime. Protect yourself with enterprise security.