by: David Ham Updated:
The Secret Service announced that 30-year-old Roman Seleznev was arrested and is currently being held in a jail in Guam for allegedly stealing more than 200,000 credit card numbers from local restaurants.
"Cyber crooks should take heed: you cannot hide behind distant keyboards. We will bring you to face justice," said U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan.
Seleznev is accused of hacking into computer systems in Washington and selling the credit card numbers on underground websites.
"Roman was the main administrator of the online forum "carder.su" which was a criminal website where criminals could buy and sell stolen credit cards, embossing services, counterfeit identity documents, and other types of criminal activity related to identity theft," said Gary Warner, director of research in computer forensics at The University of Alabama at Birmingham Center for Information Assurance and Joint Forensics Research.
"He was selling the information and fresh credit card information brings more money than stale credit card information," said Durkan.
U.S. attorneys estimate Seleznev made at least $2 million from stealing credit card numbers locally from 2009 through 2010. He was indicted in March of 2011, and was arrested over the weekend. The feds would not say how and where Seleznev was arrested.
Court documents show that Seleznev stole credit card numbers from Grand Central Baking company in Seattle; four Mad pizza restaurants in Seattle and Tukwila; Village Pizza, in Anacortes, Casa Mia Italian Restaurant in Yelm, and the now shuttered Broadway Grill on Capitol Hill.
Michael Romines of Mad Pizza said he was surprised Seleznev targeted local businesses.
"I could understand if it was Target or those big kind of companies, but a small company like ourselves got hit. That's strange," said Romines.
Since being hacked, businesses like Mad Pizza have changed their security procedures, so customers' cards won't be hacked again.
"So now everything is now protected," said Romines. He added there hasn't been a breach since the computer system was upgraded.
Seleznev will eventually be transported from Guam to Seattle where he will face a judge. He'll be arraigned on July 22.