A senior organizer of a notorious hacking group that has inflicted billions of dollars in damage to US companies has been sentenced to 10 years in prison. Fedir Hladyr, 35, a Ukrainian national, worked as a manager and system administrator for Fin7, a cybercriminal organization that attacked banks and retailers around the world with Carbanak malware.
At peak times, the group consisted of 70+ people who were split into teams to break into systems, develop and install the virus, and send fake emails with phone calls to mislead ignorant companies. Hladyr reportedly worked as a system administrator for the group, helping with oversight of the various units and maintaining the server network.
The complicated setup enabled the digital thieves to forge tens of millions of stolen credit and debit card numbers from customers of banks and retail chains such as Chipotle Mexican Grill, Chili’s, Arby’s, Red Robin and Jason’s Deli. According to the Department of Justice, the group broke into corporate computer networks in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, and also carried out attacks in the UK, Australia and France.
Hladyr was arrested in Germany in 2018 and extradited to Seattle, Washington. In his plea, he said he had come to Fin7 through a cybersecurity company that he soon realized was a fake company built for the group’s main purpose. Hladyr had pleaded guilty to a conspiracy to commit wire fraud and a conspiracy to commit computer hacking.
“This defendant was at the intersection of all of these activities and has great responsibility for the billions in damage that is being done to businesses and individual consumers,” said Acting District Attorney Tessa M. Gorman of the Western Washington District.