Computer Crime Research Center


Guns vs computers, cybercrime

Date: July 28, 2006
By: Kim Zetter

John Dillinger was a bank robber whose tool of trade was a machine gun. But in today's cybercrime era, the weapon of choice for "John Dillinger" is an MSR206, a card-writing machine used for encoding bank account numbers and other data onto the magnetic stripe of bank credit and debit cards.

John Dillinger is the online nick of a 44-year-old bank card thief who says he's stolen about $150,000 in the last two years using debit-account and PIN numbers obtained through hacking and phishing scams.

In March, he was one of many thieves who struck Bank of America, Citibank, Wells Fargo and other banks and credit unions in a cash-out operation that made national headlines and involved stolen debit-account and PIN numbers taken from a hacked database.
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