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News

Ukrainian hacker faces Turkish jail term

Sophos : 09 January, 2009  (Technical Article)
30 year custodial sentence given to Ukrainian hacker after successful Turkish investigation into credit card detail theft
IT security and control firm Sophos has advised cybercriminals to find an alternative career after a computer hacker from the Ukraine was sentenced to a 30 year prison sentence.

According to reports, Maksim Yastremsky, also known as 'Maksik', sold hundreds of thousands of credit card numbers and other personal information, and was one of the gang charged in May 2005 with stealing customer information from OfficeMax, Barnes & Noble, Boston Market, Sports Authority, Forever 21, DSW, BJ's Wholesale Club and TJX, which operates retail stores T J Maxx (known as TK Maxx in the UK) and Marshall's.

Authorities alleged that the 25-year-old Ukrainian was responsible for losses totalling tens of millions of dollars worldwide through his criminal activities. He was arrested by authorities in Turkey in July 2007 following a secret service operation.

'Yastremsky will certainly have plenty of time to ponder whether his hacking activities were worthwhile,' said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos. 'The length of this jail time should also make others engaged in cybercrime think again - the rewards may be large, but you risk ruining the rest of your life, and causing years of misery for your family and friends. It may seem like the chances of being caught are small, but there are more and more convictions happening all the time, and the authorities are getting better than ever at co-operating at an international level to catch the bad guys.'

Sophos recommends all businesses ensure their security defences are up to date and able to defend against the risks of hacking, spam and malware.
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