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Russian hacker arrested for widespread U.S. credit card data theft

Calling him "one the world's most prolific traffickers of stolen financial information," the U.S. Secret Service arrested a Russian national Monday for hacking retailers and stealing credit card information throughout the United States over a 16-month period.

Roman Valerevich Seleznev, who was indicted in Washington state in March 2011, is accused of hacking into servers and international carding forum websites to steal credit card data. Seleznev, who is known as "Track2" in the carding underground, remains in custody pending trial.

The Justice Department did not disclose the location of Seleznev's arrest for "law enforcement reasons."

The alleged criminal activity occurred between October 2009 and February 2011. According to Capitol Hill Seattle, Seleznev's 2010 data breach at Broadway Grill resulted in $1.7 million in losses to banks and credit card companies.

"This important arrest sends a clear message: despite the increasingly borderless nature of transitional organized crime, the long arm of justice - and this Department - will continue to disrupt and dismantle sophisticated criminal organizations," said Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson in a statement.

Seleznev faces multiple charges, including five counts of bank fraud, eight counts of intentionally causing damage to a protected computer and five counts of aggravated identity theft. The case remains under investigation by the U.S. Secret Service Electronic Crimes Task Force in Seattle and is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Washington.

"This scheme involved multiple network intrusions and data thefts for illicit financial gain," said Julia Pierson, Director of the U.S. Secret Service.

Seleznev also faces racketeering charges in Nevada, the Secret Service said.

Last month, a Russian computer hacker was accused of leading a worldwide conspiracy that targeted hundreds of thousands of computers with malware, enabling his group to steal more than $100 million from business and other bank accounts.

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