Men Accused Of Hacking Restaurant Credit Card System

The U.S. Attorney's office says the men installed packet sniffers to capture credit card data as it flowed through the restaurant chain's computer systems.

K.C. Jones, Contributor

May 13, 2008

2 Min Read

A federal grand jury has indicted three men accused of stealing credit and debit card numbers from customers at a national restaurant chain.

A 27-count indictment returned in Central Islip, N.Y. accuses Maksym Yastremskiy of Ukraine and Aleksandr Suvorov of Estonia of wire fraud conspiracy, wire fraud, conspiracy to possess unauthorized access devices, access device fraud, aggravated identity theft, conspiracy to commit computer fraud, computer fraud, and interception of electronic communications. A second indictment charges Albert Gonzalez of Miami with wire fraud conspiracy in the same scheme.

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York and the criminal division's computer crime and intellectual property section said Maksym Yastremskiy, also known as "Maksik," Aleksandr Suvorov, also known as "JonnyHell," and Albert Gonzales, also known as "Segvec," hacked into cash register terminals at 11 Dave & Buster's restaurants in the United States. The defendants are accused of selling the data to others for fraudulent purchases or resale.

They are accused of pulling off the theft with only "Track 2 data," which includes customers' account numbers and expiration dates, but not the cardholders' names or other personally identifiable information.

The indictment states that Yastremskiy and Suvorov installed packet sniffers to capture data as it flowed from the restaurants' point-of-sale servers through the computer system at the company's corporate headquarters to a data processor last year. The court records state that the defendants obtained data from about 5,000 credit and debit cards through one restaurant, and caused losses of at least $600,000 to the financial institutions that issued the cards.

Turkish officials arrested Yastremskiy in Turkey last year and he remains in jail on potential violations of Turkish law. The U.S. has requested his extradition.

German officials arrested Suvorov in March while he was visiting that country. He also remains in jail, pending German action on a U.S. extradition request. U.S. Secret Service officials arrested Gonzalez in Miami this month.

"This case demonstrates the potential for criminals to inflict significant damage to our nation's financial sector, but this investigation and the resulting indictments should serve as a warning to cybercriminals that law enforcement will continue to pursue them wherever they are," U.S. Secret Service director Mark Sullivan said in a news announcement.

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