He may be unknown to most of the world, but among hackers, 27-year-old Vladislav Anatolievich Horohorin is a living legend. He is also on the verge of being extradited to the United States from France, where he has been locked up since his August, 2010 arrest in the coastal city of Nice.
Horohorin, a.k.a BadB or Vlad H, is one of the CIA and FBIs top five most-wanted cyber-criminals. U.S. authorities accuse the hacker, who has both Ukrainian and Israeli citizenship, of involvement in numerous cyber-security breaches in banks and large businesses.
Considered one of the worlds most important credit card dealers, Horohorin operated a virtual market of stolen credit cards, card re-coding and bank information sales. On different sites and forums that he ran, crooks from all around the world could exchange ideas about creating fake bankcards. On some forums, Horohorin boasted that he had the largest stock of bank data in the world. Among the sites run by the 27-year-old-swindler: Dumps.com, badb.biz and CarderPlanet, which was one of the most important credit card pirating sites until it was shut down in 2004.
125,000 dollars in one day
Horohorin is also a main suspect in an ongoing investigation into the 2008 attack against the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS). Several people working together managed to withdraw 9.5 million dollars from ATMs in a couple of hours using pirated credit cards. At the time, law enforcement described the operation as the most sophisticated in the history of credit card fraud.
It was an attack that was both highly technical and very well organized, explains Guilhem Giraud, the head of Info Protection Solutions, a data security firm for large companies. The hackers were apparently able to access the Hardware Security Module, which stores all of the banking networks codes.
In total, nine people from Eastern Europe have been arrested in connection with the investigation. Horohorin, who withdrew $125,000 over the course of one day in Moscow following the cyber attack on RBS, was charged by a grand jury with aggravated identity theft and credit card fraud.
They operate at a very, very high level, says Giraud. This attack was possible because of shortcomings in the security installation of the Hardware Security Module, but there are very few hackers in the world who possess that kind of know-how.
The hacker will now have to answer to an American court. Based on the charges against him, Horohorin could face up to 12 years in prison and a $500,000 fine in the United States.
Read the original article in French
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