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Russian Gets Longest U.S. Hacking Sentence Ever

A Russian hacker specializing in stolen credit card numbers has been sentenced in Seattle to 27 years in prison. Roman Seleznev, also known as Track2, was described by prosecutors as not just a prolific thief, but as a “pioneer” who helped create the thriving market for stolen credit card data that exists today.

According to the New York Times, his sentence is the longest ever handed down for hacking in the United States. It follows a conviction in August of last year.

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Seleznev is the son of Russian Parliamentarian and Vladimir Putin ally Valery Seleznev. Russian officials described Roman Seleznev’s 2014 arrest in the Maldives as a “kidnapping”.

Seleznev’s scheme centered on so-called Point of Sale systems, which he infected with malware. The malware would harvest credit card data and upload it to servers controlled by Seleznev.

Ars Technica points out that Seattle was also home to several of the businesses Seleznev attacked. One, the Broadway Grill, was a staple of Seattle’s LGBT community, and went out of business in 2013 in part because of credit card fraud attributed to Seleznev.