Russian Hacker Jailed in U.S. for $19M Fraud

A Russian hacker was sentenced to 12 years in a U.S. prison Thursday for consumer data theft worth $19 million from 100 million customers of over a dozen financial service companies, the Justice Department said.

Andrei Tyurin, 37, pleaded guilty in 2019 after his extradition from the country of Georgia the previous year, admitting to computer intrusion, wire fraud, bank fraud and illegal online gambling offenses. The U.S. accused him of making criminal profits from financial sector hacks between 2007 and mid-2015.

“From his home in Moscow, Andrei Tyurin played a major role in orchestrating and facilitating an international hacking campaign,” Acting U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said in a statement.

Tyurin’s targets included JPMorgan Chase, where he targeted more than 80 million customers, as well as E*Trade Financial Corp, Scottrade Inc and publisher of the Wall Street Journal News Corp’s Dow Jones.

U.S. District Judge Laura Taylor Swain said his involvement in a “sprawling financial criminal enterprise” harvested the personal information of 138 million people, according to Reuters.

A Manhattan federal court found Tyurin guilty and sentenced him to 144 months in prison effective immediately. Prosecutors had sought a sentence of more than 15 years while his lawyers requested leniency.

“I regret what I have done, but unfortunately I cannot turn back time,” Reuters quoted Tyurin as saying in court through an interpreter. Tyurin also said in a letter to the judge that he had changed after a daughter he can no longer see was born four years ago, the Associated Press reported.

Tyurin’s lawyer wrote in court papers that he had only pocketed around $5 million, according to the AP. The Justice Department said Tyurin has been ordered to forfeit over $19 million, with a court hearing on his restitution obligations scheduled for April 6.

Russian Intelligence Calls U.S. Cyber Attack Claims ‘Nonsense’

Russia’s foreign intelligence service, the SVR, on Thursday dismissed U.S. claims that it was involved in cyber attacks on U.S. infrastructure as “nonsense” after Washington imposed sanctions on Moscow.

“We will only say that reading this nonsense is an occupation of little interest,” the SVR said in a statement, referring to a U.S. executive order announcing the punitive measures.

The statement carried by Russian news agencies also called the U.S. executive order an example of “verbiage” and extolled the intelligence agency’s “supreme professionalism” and its “ability to carry out its work honestly for the benefit of our country.”

Earlier Thursday, the U.S. announced economic sanctions against Russia and the expulsion of 10 diplomats in retaliation for what Washington says is the Kremlin’s U.S. election interference, the massive SolarWinds cyber attack and other hostile activity.

Moscow said that a Russian response to the new U.S. sanctions was “inevitable” and summoned U.S. ambassador John Sullivan.

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