The person who is alleged to be one of the masterminds behind the precision strike on the RBS WorldPay payment processor has been extradited to face US justice from Estonia. Sergei Tsurikov, the 26 year old from Tallinnn in Estonia was Friday in Atlanta`s federal court. There are a variety fraud and hacking charges related to one of the most successful computer crimes of all time.
According to prosecutors, Tsurikov is one of the leaders of a gang that managed to hack into the WorldPay network of RBS and then clone the payroll debit cards that is used by employees to draw salaries from ATM and debit machines on their payday. These cards were distributed to network of cashiers all over the world who had instructions to withdraw money with a half day window. The network of cashiers managed to withdraw 9.4million dollars from 2100 ATMs according to information given by prosecutors.
According to US Attorney Quillian Yates, November 2008 had witnessed in one day a credit card processor from America, hacked as part of the most organized and sophisticated computer fraud attack that has ever been conducted. RBS WorldPay is Royal Bank of Scotland Group`s payment processing division. According to prosecutors, Tsurikov and the mastermind of the group Victor Pleshchuk were monitoring the WorldPay systems of RBS attempting to cover their traces by destroying data.
Earlier in the year Pleshchuk was arrested in Russia along with Tsurikov and another leader, Oleg Covelin according to news reports. Meanwhile Tsurikov along with another 5 members of his gang have already been convicted with fraud charges in Estonia. However, he has now been brought to US where he will face additional charges. He is one of the 8 people, including Pleshchuk, who were alleged with fraud charges and indicted for the hacking of RBS WorldPay. However, he is the first member of the group to be extradited to the US. Speaking on this occasion, US Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said that with the cooperation obtained from partners in law enforcement all over the world, especially ones in Estonia, they have been able to extradite one of the leaders of the ring to Atlanta.
The federal charges on which Tsurikov has been indicted include conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy in committing computer fraud, computer fraud, wire fraud and an aggravated identity theft as announced by the FBI. Viktor Pleshchuk of St.Petersburg is 29 years old.