Latest in Gear

Image credit: Westend61 via Getty Images

Russian behind elite cybercrime forum sentenced to 9 years in prison

Russian political drama played a role.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
June 26, 2020
122 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links

Man typing at his laptop computer at night
Westend61 via Getty Images

A particularly successful Russian hacker is about to serve time behind bars in the US. A federal judge has sentenced Aleksei Burkov, the operator of an elite cybercrime forum, to nine years in prison after pleading guilty in January to two device fraud charges. He’d faced up to 15 years in prison, but that plea apparently didn’t help him avoid most of the punishment.

The invitation-only forum, DirectConnection, let hackers and other online crooks sell their services and stolen goods so long as they had $5,000 and the backing of three current members. The charges also revolved around Burkov’s control of Cardplanet, a site that sold payment card numbers. Over $20 million in bogus purchases were made using stolen US credit cards.

The sentence is notable in part for the bitter fight to extradite Burkov to the US. He’d been arrested in Israel in 2015 and was supposed to have been extradited in 2017, but Russia fought that transfer for years. He was apparently one of the most connected hackers in the country, and the government may have been worried he knew too much about Russian hacking operations. Clearly, Russia didn’t have much success — it’s not certain if Burkov turned informant, but he won’t be leaving the US for a long while.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
122 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

Rocket Lab mission fails shortly after launch

Rocket Lab mission fails shortly after launch

View
Two Nigerians face US charges over online fraud worth 'hundreds of millions'

Two Nigerians face US charges over online fraud worth 'hundreds of millions'

View
Facebook envisions using holographics for super-slim VR glasses

Facebook envisions using holographics for super-slim VR glasses

View
Animal Crossing fans get real about the fictional NookPhone

Animal Crossing fans get real about the fictional NookPhone

View
Boeing is reportedly ending production of its 747 jumbo jet

Boeing is reportedly ending production of its 747 jumbo jet

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr