U.S. News

Three accused of hacking Dave & Buster's computers

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Three people have been charged with stealing credit and debit card numbers from customers at U.S. restaurant chain Dave & Buster’s Inc by hacking into cash register terminals, the Department of Justice said on Monday.

Maksym Yastremskiy, of Kharkov, Ukraine and Aleksandr Suvorov, of Sillamae, Estonia, are accused of hacking into 11 Dave & Buster’s cash register terminals to acquire credit card account numbers and card expiration dates. They sold the stolen data to others who used it to make fraudulent purchases, prosecutors said.

The two were charged in a 27-count indictment unsealed in Central Islip, New York, with charges including conspiracy, wire fraud and aggravated identity theft, according to the DOJ and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York.

The third defendant, Albert Gonzalez of Miami, is accused in a criminal complaint of wire fraud conspiracy related to the alleged scheme, prosecutors said.

The case is being investigated by the U.S. Secret Service, with cooperation and assistance from the Dallas-based restaurant chain.

Yastremskiy and Suvorov, in or about May 2007, installed at each restaurant a “packet sniffer,” a piece of computer code designed to capture communications between two or more computer systems on a single network, according to the indictment.

The code was configured to capture card data as it moved from the restaurant’s point-of-sale server through the computer system at the company’s corporate headquarters to the data processor’s computer system, prosecutors said.

At one restaurant location, the packet sniffer captured data for about 5,000 credit and debit cards, causing losses of at least $600,000 to the financial institutions that issued the cards, according to the indictment.

The names of the defendants’ attorneys were not immediately available, according to a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York.

Turkish officials arrested Yastremskiy in Turkey in July 2007 and he remains in jail on potential violations of Turkish law, the DOJ said. A formal request for his extradition to the United States has been made to the Turkish government, the DOJ said.

Suvorov was arrested in March by German officials while he was visiting the country and is in jail there pending German action on a U.S. extradition request, the DOJ said.

Gonzalez was arrested this month in Miami by the Secret Service, according to the DOJ.

Reporting by Martha Graybow, editing by Richard Chang