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September 21, 2011

Russian hacker’s property auctioned off to pay RBS: report

Viktor Pleshchuk, and seven others, made fake debit cards to steal massive amount of cash from ATMs in 280 cities

By CBR Staff Writer

Two flats and two cars, owned by Russian hacker Viktor Pleshchuk, were auctioned off in Saint Petersburg to raise money for the fine amount a court had ordered him to pay for his hack attacks on RBS in 2008.

The BBC reported, Pleshchuk and seven other Eastern European hackers had breached the security of RBS and stolen personal data of thousands of RBS customers in 2008.

The hackers then used the stolen data to create fake debit cards and withdraw huge amounts of cash from ATMs in as many as 280 cities around the world, said the report.

In an organised operation, the hackers stole the money using 2,100 ATMs within 12 hours in the US, Russia, Estonia, Italy, Hong Kong, Japan and Canada.

US authorities pursued the hackers in 2009 and , upon arrest, Pleshchuk pleaded guilty in the court.

The eight were charged in the state of Georgia, and in September 2010, Pleshcuk was awarded a six-year suspended sentence and ordered to pay $8.9m (£6m) in restitution.

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Pleshcuk requested to waive the jail sentence by pledging to sell his property and compensate the bank for the damage caused, said the report.

On Monday, Pleshchuk’s two flats and two cars, a BMW and a Lada, were auctioned off to raise 10m roubles (£200,000), according to Russian news portal RIA Novosti.

The money has been transferred to RBS, said the report.

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