Russian hackers steal thousands of British pounds from bookmaking companies

In 2000, FBI agents were smart enough to catch two Russian hackers

Russian hackers were attacked on July 20th and 21st. Nine men were detained on the allegation of stealing hundreds of thousands of British pounds from online bookmaking companies. Russian law-enforcement bodies together with the British department for struggle with high-tech crimes conducted the operation against hackers in St.Petersburg, the Rostov and the Stavropol regions, RIA Novosti reports.

The press service of the British embassy in Moscow said three men had been arrested as a result of the operation. The men are suspected of blackmailing thousands of British pounds from the owners of online bookmaking companies. In particular, the criminals sent threatening emails to horse racing bookmakers.

At first, enterprising criminals arranged DDoS attacks against a company's server and website. The hacking would ruin the normal work and bring considerable losses to a company. Blackmailers would then send emails to its owners asking for money. In return they promised to stop attacks for one year. In 12 months the story repeated again.

Russian citizen Vasily Gorshkov was arrested in the USA and sentenced to three years in jail in 2002. The 27-year-old young man was charged with hacking and swindling activities. The court also ordered Gorshkov to pay about $700,000 to the company Speakeasy Network (Seattle) and to the Californian company PayPal of Palo Alto dealing with online payments with the use of credit cards.

FBI was keeping an eye on Vasily Gorshkov and his 23-year-old associate Aleksey Ivanov (the two men come from the Russian city of Chelyabinsk) within the framework of the national persecution of Russian hackers in the States. They have caused considerable damage to American providers, online stores and online banks. The two Russian hackers would steal information from credit cards in the PayPal system and then use it to receive cash.

American special services said the hackers also attacked provider, the company CTF and the Los Angeles department of Nara Bank, Korea. In addition, there are other facts to prove Gorshkov and Ivanov's implication in the crime, which was committed in September of 2000, when 15,700 credit card numbers were stolen from Western Union system.

FBI agents managed to identify one of the hackers in June of 2000 – Aleksey Ivanov. There was a special plan developed to attract the hackers to the USA. FBI set up a fake company in Seattle in order to catch criminals. The phony computer security company was called Invita Security. The company offered the two Russians a good job and invited them to come to the USA. Two Chelyabinsk residents came to the States on November 10th to meet their would-be employers, who were actually FBI agents.

During a 'job interview' Vasily Gorshkov 'confessed' all his crimes and showed a lot of what he could do. FBI taped everything and then used the video material as the major argument in the indictment. After the arrest Vasily Gorshkov stayed in Seattle, and Aleksey Ivanov was sent to Connecticut to testify in the investigation of the crime committed against the company Online Information Bureau.

Based on the materials of Russian media outlets

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Author`s name Olga Savka