Washington (AFP) – A Russian wanted in the hacking of the Nasdaq stock market and of payment systems resulting in $300 million in losses has been extradited to face US criminal charges, officials said Tuesday.
Vladimir Drinkman, 34, appeared in court to face criminal charges in Newark, New Jersey after being extradited from the Netherlands, the Justice Department said in a statement.
Drinkman, who was arrested by Dutch authorities in June 2012, was charged in what officials called “the largest international hacking and data breach scheme ever prosecuted in the United States.”
Drinkman and his co-defendants are charged with attacks on the Nasdaq, retailers 7-Eleven, Carrefour, JC Penney and other companies, with losses estimated at more than $300 million between 2005 and 2012.
Drinkman and fellow Russian Alexandr Kalinin were previously charged as “Hacker 1” and “Hacker 2” in a 2009 indictment charging Albert Gonzalez in connection with five corporate data breaches, including the breach of Heartland Payment Systems, which at the time was the largest ever reported.
Gonzalez is currently serving 20 years in federal prison for those offenses.
Drinkman and another defendant, Dmitriy Smilianets, were arrested at the request of the United States while traveling in the Netherlands on June 28, 2012. Smilianets was extradited months later and is in US custody.
Kalinin and two others remain at large, officials said.
Drinkman faces charges of conspiracy, wire fraud and unauthorised computer access, each carrying potential prison terms.