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Monday, June 17, 2024 | Back issues
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Cybercrime Mastermind Pleads Guilty in NYC

BROOKLYN (CN) - The Turk behind one of the biggest cyberheists in history pleaded guilty Tuesday to masterminding a scheme that netted his crew more than $55 million in just one year.

Known online by pseudonyms like Segate, Predator and Oreon, 34-year-old Ercan Findikoglu faces 57.5 years in prison after pleading guilty to computer intrusion and computer intrusion before U.S District Judge Kiyo Matsumoto.

Feds say Findikoglu carried out at least three cyberattacks between 2011 and 2013 to amass the fortune within a matter of days.

He hacked into the computer systems of credit and debit card processing companies, stole data, and siphoned off money from those cards.

His crew also stole PINs to make withdrawals at ATMs around the world.

Feds say that, for two days in February 2011, Findikoglu and his crew pulled $10 million from other people's accounts via 15,000 withdrawals in at least 18 countries.

A second operation in December saw them swipe at least $5 million from 4,500 ATMs in 20 countries. A third scam in February 2013 involved 36,000 transactions from 24 countries to pull in $40 million.

"By hacking into the computer networks of global financial institutions, the defendant and his co-conspirators were able to wreak havoc with the worldwide financial system by simultaneously withdrawing tens of millions of dollars," U.S. Attorney Robert Capers said in a statement.

The Secret Service's Special Agent in Charge David Beach warned had a message for any hackers at large: "There is no such thing as anonymity in the cyberworld."

Findikoglu staved off the long arm of the law for nearly two years while the United States fought to have him extradited to Brooklyn. He landed in town in June.

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