A federal jury in Seattle convicted a Russian man Thursday of hacking numerous businesses to steal credit card numbers and sell them on the black market.
Roman Valerevich Seleznev, 32, also known as Track2, was convicted in the Western District Court of Washington of 38 counts including wire fraud, intentional damage to a protected computer, obtaining information from a protected computer, possession of 15 or more unauthorized access devices and aggravated identity theft. His operation involved hacking point-of-sale computers, mostly at small businesses, and installing malware to steal credit card information, according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice.
Several of these businesses were in Western Washington, and the Broadway Grill in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood was forced into bankruptcy following the cyberattacks. The hacks resulted in losses of more than $169 million for 3,700 financial institutions.
According to the DOJ, once the credit card information was obtained, it went to other servers Seleznev controlled in Russia, Ukraine or McLean, Va. He would bundle credit card information into groups called “bases” and sell them on “carding” websites to people who would then use the information to make fraudulent purchases.
Seleznev’s operation lasted from 2009 to 2013, and when he was arrested in 2014 his laptop contained more than 1.7 million stolen credit card numbers, some of which were stolen from businesses in Western Washington. Seleznev will be sentenced in December. He is also facing charges related to the hacks in Nevada and Georgia.
The case has been a source of international tension. Seleznev’s father is a member of the Russian Federal Assembly, the nation’s parliament, and close to President Vladimir Putin. Seleznev’s father suggested after the arrest that his son was taken into custody partially in retaliation for Russia’s harboring of former U.S. government contractor Edward Snowden.
Seleznev’s attorneys told The Seattle Times that they will appeal the verdict. The defense team argued that Seleznev’s computer was tampered with while it was stored at a U.S. Secret Service office.