Stakeouts, Lucky Breaks Snare Six More in Citibank ATM Heist

Stakeouts, Lucky Breaks Snare Six More in Citibank ATM Heist
Stakeouts, Lucky Breaks Snare Six More in Citibank ATM Heist 

By Kevin Poulsen 
Threat Level
June 24, 2008 

Citibank officials monitoring their network for fraud on Thursday, May 
8, noticed suspicious ATM transactions at 8:30 p.m., coming through the 
five cash machines in the vestibule of a Citibank branch at 65th Street 
and Madison Avenue in New York City's Upper East Side.

As luck would have it, a bank employee -- probably a corporate security 
official -- was already staking out the branch from across the street.

Three months had passed since Citibank notified the FBI that a hacker 
managed to steal customer-account numbers and PIN codes, in an attack on 
a server that processes transactions from Citi-branded ATMs at 7-Eleven 
convenience stores. In late February and early March, the FBI and the 
U.S. Secret Service arrested two Ukrainian immigrants and two alleged 
co-conspirators for allegedly using the stolen PINs to steal $2 million 
in cash from unsuspecting Citibank customers.

But the arrests didn't stop the fraud, which sprang from perhaps the 
most serious computer intrusion into a bank system to date. The FBI has 
recently made at least six more arrests in New York -- bringing the 
total to 10 -- thanks to information from arrested scam suspects, a 
lucky traffic stop, and an undercover operation that at one point had 
Eastern European hackers chasing a female FBI agent through the streets 
of New York, trying to mug her for ATM-card-programming gear.

Six months after the 2007 breach, is receiving scattered 
reports of Citibank customers still suffering mysterious withdrawals 
from their bank accounts.


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