Updated Nov. 11
A group of international hackers is charged with invading the computers of Atlanta-based credit card processing company RBS WorldPay and stealing more than $9 million in just hours from ATMs across the globe, the Justice Department announced today.
A grand jury in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia has indicted four individuals on charges that include wire fraud, computer fraud and aggravated identity theft. It was not immediately known whether any of the defendants, who are detained overseas, have retained counsel in the United States. Four other defendants, each from Estonia, are charged with access device fraud.
The indictment alleges that the group breached a security system that protected data on payroll debit cards, which allow employees to withdraw salaries from ATMs, according to the Justice Department. RBS WorldPay, represented by Hunton & Williams partners John Delionado and John Woods, is a part of the Royal Bank of Scotland.
Prosecutors said in a statement that the alleged hackers stole millions of dollars from more than 2,100 ATMs in at least 280 cities in the United States, Canada, Japan and other countries. Justice officials said international cooperation was a “significant factor” in bringing charges. Government lawyers and investigators have worked with counterparts in Estonia, Hong Kong and in the Netherlands.
“Last November, in just one day, an American credit card processor was hacked in perhaps the most sophisticated and organized computer fraud attack ever conducted. Today, almost exactly one year later, the leaders of this attack have been charged,” Acting U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates of the Northern District of Georgia said in a statement.
Kimberly Kiefer Peretti of the Justice Department’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section is assigned the prosecution with assistant U.S. attorneys Lawrence Sommerfeld and Gerald Sachs in Atlanta.