Computer Crime Research Center


"Plastic" criminality

Date: February 25, 2004
Source: Computer Crime Research Center
By: Dmitri Kramarenko

Computer is becoming the most promising tool for committing crime. In the developed countries almost all financial operations are made through computer systems and networks.

Credit cards became of broad use, they replace usual paper money. Counterfeit of credit cards, computer-facilitated thefts got a character of real disaster in the USA, Italy and other developed countries. Companies, especially banks, intend to hide facts of computer theft because they are afraid of loosing their reputation and trust of their depositors. Thus, the scale of losses in bank sphere are not registered in official statistics. And defrauded victims more often even do not suspect that they have been robbed. Experts regard criminal theft to be fourfold greater with help of computers than in cases of armed robberies of banks in the USA. For the last decade annual losses have increased more than 20 times and came to tens of billions of US dollars.

In April 2003, three young men with help of cunning device stole more than $ 700 thousand from Moscow ATMs. Small device is a unique invention of three students of technical universtities, their proudness and source of income. At that revenue is more than significant as you can see.

This device allowed to withdraw all money from other's credit cards. It is attached to the slot where the card is plugged in. It is firmly attached to the ATM, is painted in similar color and attracts no attention. At the same time it reads all data from the card when victim is trying to get some money. And placed nearby video cam recorded Pin code. Afterwards three students obtained almost unlimited access to the other's bank account.

Then with help of the purchased for this purpose equipment they made a replica of the card. And then they withdrew money usually in that ATM. According to preliminary estimation, the number of victims made up more than 200 people. They worked in Moscow downtown. These ATMs are placed in the crowded spots. In order to arrest them police had to carry out prepared operation.

To be continued...

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