3 charged with hacking into US restaurant chain, stealing credit information

The Associated Press

May 12, 2008


GARDEN CITY, New York - Three men were charged Monday with hacking into a national restaurant chain's computerized cash registers and stealing credit card information from customers.

Eleven Dave & Buster's restaurants at various locations around the United States were hit in the scheme, including one in Islandia, on Long Island, where information was stolen on 5,000 credit and debit cards, causing at least $600,000 (.390,000) in losses, federal prosecutors said.

The extent of the losses from the other branches was not immediately known.

Maksym Yastremskiy, of Kharkov, Ukraine, and Aleksandr Suvorov, of Sillamae, Estonia, were charged in a 27-count indictment with 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.

The indictment was unsealed in U.S. District Court in Central Islip. Separately, a one-count complaint unsealed in Central Islip on Monday charged Albert Gonzalez of Miami with wire fraud conspiracy.

"Operating from locations in the United States and abroad, these defendants hacked into computer systems and stole credit and debit card data from unsuspecting victims for their personal enrichment," assistant attorney general Alice S. Fisher said in a statement from Washington.

Prosecutors say the trio hacked into the cash register terminals in order to acquire "track 2" credit and debit card information. Track 2 data includes the customer's account number and expiration date, but not the cardholder's name or other personally identifiable information, prosecutors said.

The men then sold the stolen data to others who made fraudulent purchases, prosecutors said.

Yastremskiy and Suvorov are accused of gaining unauthorized access to the terminals and installing so-called "packet sniffers," which are computer software codes designed to capture communications between two or more computer systems on a single network. Gonzalez supplied the computer software used in the scheme, prosecutors said.

Yastremskiy was arrested in Turkey in July 2007, and he remains jailed there on potential violations of Turkish law. U.S. authorities are attempting to extradite him. He also faces charges in a credit card trafficking case in Southern California, prosecutors said.

Suvorov was arrested in March 2008 while visiting Germany. Extradition proceedings are pending. U.S. Secret Service officials arrested Gonzalez in Miami this month.

It was not immediately clear whether the three men have legal representation.

A call for comment Monday to Dave & Buster's, which has nearly 50 restaurants around the country, was not immediately returned.

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