Suspended sentence for $9M Russian bank hacker

A 27 year-old Russian, Yevgeny Anikin, will be drinking tea at home today as he escaped with only a five-year suspended sentence  for stealing more than  $9 million from an American  payment processing arm of the Royal Bank of Scotland and getting confidential information, as suspected, on more than 1.5 million bank’s customers.

Furthermore, in hacker attacks of November 2008, Yevgeny Anikin, his pal Viktor Pleschuk (29) and other members of the gang stole sensitive information on numerous bank’s clients and in less than 12 hours $9.4 million was withdrawn from the bank through a network of ‘cashers’  with fake debit cards in more than 280 cities worldwide.  Pleschuk, who was also tried in Russia after Russian authorities refused to extradite him to the USA, got a suspended sentence of six years, but in the US, he and his gang would have got up to 20 years in jail for the same crimes.

Western experts say that these token punishments should not come as a surprise. Peter Cassidy of the international  Anti-Phishing Working Group says that the is a culture of apathy towards such crimes which is expressed in the sentencing passed down by courts in Russian and Central and Eastern Europe, despite the fact that that electronic crimes there are getting more and more frequent. Every four seconds Russian corporate and banks’ sites get attacked and in the past couple of years hackers caused a 1-billion-dollar-worth damage to electronic systems, including government sites. For example, according to the information provided by the Russian central news agency ITAR-TASS, the name of the Federal Migration Service was used by four self-styled seemingly official sites at once.

Do you think hacker’s deserve an easy time? After all, bankers who were largely responsible for the financial crisis we are in  are still getting bonuses. So if they can get away with it, why can’t hackers?

Your views are always welcome on International Times of Dominica – let us know…

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