Hacker 1 Admits Guilt in Attacks on 3 Businesses From 2007 to 2009
NEWS ANALYSIS: Sometimes justice takes time. Vladimir Drinkman, alias Hacker 1, finally admitted his role in the 2007 to 2009 attacks on three businesses.It has been a long, winding road that brought Vladimir Drinkman to justice, but the road is now nearing an end. Back in 2009, the Federal Bureau of Investigation identified Drinkman as Hacker 1 in connection with cyber-attacks that occurred between 2007 and 2009 against Heartland Payment Systems, Hannaford Brothers and 7-Eleven. The attacks affected 160 million credit card numbers. Drinkman, a Russian National, was first arrested in June 2012 in the Netherlands and appeared in a U.S. courtroom in February of this year. He initially entered a plea of not guilty but has since changed his tone. After negotiating a plea agreement with the Justice Department, Drinkman is now admitting his role in the 2007 to 2009 cyber-attacks. Under the terms of the agreement, Drinkman is pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit unauthorized access of protected computers and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. As part of the plea agreement, the Justice Department is not initiating further criminal charges against Drinkman. The Justice Department had originally brought 11 counts of criminal misconduct against Drinkman. Sentencing for Drinkman is scheduled for Jan. 15, 2016.
"As demonstrated by today's conviction, our close cooperation with our international partners makes it more likely every day that we will find and bring to justice cyber-criminals who attack America—wherever in the world they may be," said Assistant Attorney General Caldwell in a statement. "As law enforcement around the world responds to the cyber-threat that affects us all, I am confident that this type of international cooperation that led to this result will be the new normal."