Details of Russian Hackers??? Attack on UK Online Bookies Revealed - Tuesday 12th of April 2005

The Russian Interior Ministry has investigated attacks on UK online bookmaking services by Russian hackers.

Four Russian citizens were charged with the attacks on Canbet Sport Bookmakers and other companies, Kommersant newspaper wrote on Monday. Ivan Maksakov has pleaded guilty and given a written pledge not to leave his native city of Saratov. Denis Stepanov from St. Petersburg is currently in custody in Moscow. Timur Arutchev and Maria Zarubina from the southern Russian city of Pyatigorsk, who are considered to be the masterminds behind the blackmail attempt, have been placed on the federal wanted list.

In October 2003, Canbet bosses addressed the UK???s National Hi-Tech Crime Unit claiming hackers had blocked its work sending too many requests to the server. As a result, Canbet???s clients addressed other companies and Canbet itself lost up to $200,000 every day.

The hackers said they would stop their attacks if the company transferred $40,000 to an account in a Latvian bank. The company transferred the cash several times but the attacks did not stop. Money was then transferred to Russian banks, and British police asked Russian colleagues for help. Russian police determined the IP addresses of the hackers??? computers. The suspects were arrested in July 2004.

The suspected hackers could face up to 15 years in prison for organized blackmail and the use of harmful computer programs. The investigation to confirm their involvement will be completed soon. After that, the preliminary investigation will finish, and the defendants will have access to the case materials.

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