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Hackers Jailed for Stealing 150K Credit Cards, Many From Subway Restaurants

Christine DiGangi

Two Romanian hackers were sentenced to several years in prison for stealing the credit and debit card information of more than 150,000 consumers, the Associated Press reported.

A federal judge in New Hampshire sentenced Adrian-Tiberiu Oprea, the mastermind of the two-year scheme, to 15 years, and Iulian Dolan, Oprea’s top deputy, to seven years in prison. Prosecutors said Oprea, who has a criminal record in Romania for hacking into credit card databases, is the first cyber-criminal Romania has extradited to the U.S.

The men were arrested in 2011 after they stole credit card information from more than 800 U.S. merchants, among them 250 Subway restaurant franchises. The men pleaded guilty to hacking point-of-sale systems linking businesses’ computers to credit card payment companies.

The scheme cost businesses more than $17 million, $5 million of which was spent by Subway on an investigation and changes to its computer systems.

“Oprea essentially wreaked havoc on Subway, both at the corporate level and at the individual franchise level,” prosecutors wrote in their sentencing memo, according to the AP report.

Oprea hacked into the point-of-sale systems and installed keystroke-logging software to record credit card information. Computers in the U.S. and Cyprus registered the stolen credit card data, which Oprea sold on the black market or used to make personal purchases.

Dolan, the deputy, had the job of finding businesses with software vulnerable to breaches. Dolan identified a Plaistow, N.H., Subway as a target for the scheme, and Oprea stole hundreds of the store’s customers’ information.

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