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'The Analyzer' Hack Probe Widens; $10 Million Allegedly Stolen From U.S. Banks

'The Analyzer' Hack Probe Widens; $10 Million Allegedly Stolen From U.S. Banks
'The Analyzer' Hack Probe Widens; $10 Million Allegedly Stolen From U.S. Banks 

By Kim Zetter 
Threat Level
March 24, 2009

Ehud Tenenbaum, an Israeli hacker arrested in Canada last year for 
allegedly stealing about $1.5 million from Canadian banks, also 
allegedly hacked two U.S. banks, a credit and debit card distribution 
company and a payment processor in what U.S. authorities are calling a 
global "cashout" conspiracy.

The U.S. hacks have resulted in at least $10 million in losses, 
according to court records obtained by Threat Level, and are just part 
of a larger international conspiracy to hack financial institutions in 
the United States and abroad.

The broadened case highlights the continued vulnerability of U.S. 
financial networks to cybercrime, despite supposedly tight industry 
security standards. It comes on the heels of other multimillion-dollar 
heists that also breached the security protecting ATM codes and account 
information. In late 2007, criminals used four hacked iWire payroll 
cards to steal $5 million from ATMs around the world in just two days. 
Shortly thereafter, a processing server that handles withdrawals from 
Citibank-branded ATMs at 7-Eleven convenience stores was cracked, 
leading crooks to converge on New York to withdraw at least $2 million 
from Citibank accounts using the stolen ATM data. And a carefully 
coordinated global heist last November resulted in a one-day haul of $9 
million in cash, following a breach at payment processor RBS WorldPay.

Tenenbaum, 29, made headlines a decade ago under his hacker handle "The 
Analyzer" for penetrating Pentagon computers and other networks.  He'd 
been living in France, and had only been in Canada about five months on 
a six-month visitor's permit when he was arrested last August in Calgary 
with three alleged accomplices for allegedly hacking into Direct Cash 
Management, a Calgary company that distributes prepaid debit and credit 
cards. A Canadian court granted him CDN $30,000 bail, but before he 
could be released from jail, U.S. authorities swooped in with a 
provisional warrant to retain him in custody while they pursued an 
indictment and extradition.


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