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8/12/2010
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Alleged International ID Theft Ringleader Arrested

Russian "BadB" considered one of the most "prolific" brokers of stolen credit card information

French authorities operating with the U.S. Secret Service have arrested a Russian man allegedly behind one of the world's largest online credit-card trafficking operations.

Vladislav Anatolievich Horohorin, 27, was apprehended over the weekend as he was about to board a flight from Nice, France. to Moscow. Horohorin, a.k.a "BadB," had been indicted by a federal grand jury in November 2009 on charges of access device fraud and aggravated identity theft. The U.S. Department of Justice unsealed the indictment yesterday, referring to Horohorin as potentially one of the most prolific sellers of pilfered card information in the world.

Horohorin allegedly helped create CarderPlanet and other sites as part of an online financial crime organization that has been linked to most financial information breaches reported around the world, according to federal officials. "This network has been repeatedly linked to nearly every major intrusion of financial information reported to the international law enforcement community," said Michael Merritt, assistant director for investigations for the U.S. Secret Service. "This arrest is an illustration of the success that comes from international law enforcement and private sector partnerships and confirms the Secret Service commitment to traversing the globe in pursuit of online criminals."

The indictment alleges that Horohorin, a citizen of Israel and the Ukraine, used the handle"BadB" to sell stolen credit card information on online forums, including CarderPlanet and carder.su. Buyers then would create accounts at another website operated by Horohorin, called "dumps.name," where they would pay for the stolen credit-card data. The buyers were directed to use "Webmoney," an online currency service hosted in Russia, to pay for the stolen goods.

Horohorin was caught after the U.S. Secret Service conducted an undercover investigation of his activities, including posing as sellers of stolen credit-card dumps. He is currently being held in France pending his extradition to the U.S., where he faces a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for access device fraud. He also faces one count of aggravated identity theft, which could put him in prison for two years and cost him $250,000 in fines.

"Computer hackers and identity thieves threaten the security of millions of innocent Americans with their crimes. These criminals are mistaken to think that they can escape detection by committing their crimes behind a computer screen in a foreign country," said U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. for the District of Columbia. "The arrest and prosecution of Mr. Horohorin demonstrates that we will identify, apprehend, and bring to justice in the United States even the most sophisticated international computer hackers."

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Kelly Jackson Higgins is Executive Editor at DarkReading.com. She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise ... View Full Bio

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