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Drinkman's earnings: 35 years in prison
Hacker – a highly skilled IT professional who uses malware to gain unauthorised access to information systems in order to destroy, block, modify or copy information or neutralise security systems. These activities are punishable by law.
Russian hacker Vladimir Drinkman admitted in a U.S. court his involvement in the data breach attack that caused 300 million dollars in damages. Instead of the carefree life of a millionaire, he faces imprisonment of up to 35 years.
According to investigators, a group of five hackers spent 7 years breaking into the computer networks of major U.S. and international companies. They stole over 160 million credit card numbers and passwords and sold them to third-party buyers. Prosecutors call the attack the largest data breach in U.S. history. Thanks to the fact that he pled guilty, the criminal may get a reduced sentence.
Drinkman was extradited to the U.S. from the Netherlands. According to the U.S. International Strategy for Cyberspace (2011), citizens of any country can be arrested while outside their homeland on holiday or on a business trip, and brought to a U.S. court.
Cyberspace has no boundaries. Virtual reality cannot be insulated with a fence. The incident shows that even real borders do not stop the U.S. Justice Department whose jurisdiction essentially extends to almost any country with which the U.S. has cooperation treaties. Protecting its interests by any means possible is the cornerstone of the American legal system.
If you are a hacker involved in illegal activities that target citizens and companies of the U.S. and its allies, be prepared to be extradited to the U.S. from almost any country.