Three people arrested for massive Chipotle, Arby’s, Chili’s hacks

Three people arrested for massive Chipotle Arby’s Chili’s hacks

Three people arrested for massive Chipotle Arby’s Chili’s hacks

A prolific hacking group behind hundreds of cyberattacks on restaurants just lost its leaders, says the US Justice Department.

The assistant Attorney General, Brian Benczkowski, said: "The three Ukrainian nationals indicted today allegedly were part of a prolific hacking group that targeted American companies and citizens by stealing valuable consumer data, including personal credit card information, that they then sold on the dark net". The majority of the companies were in the restaurant, gaming and hospitality industries.

Hayes says the group, called FIN7, used malware tools to reach into more than 3,600 businesses across the country that resulted in the loss of over 15 million credit and debit cards.

The hacking group, known as FIN7 or the Carbanak Group, is notorious among cybersecurity experts for a long-running campaign that targeted more than 100 USA companies, stealing an estimated 15 million credit card numbers, many of which ended up being sold to other criminals online, authorities said.

A graphic from the Justice Department showing the extent of FIN7's hacking campaign.

Sometimes FIN7 hackers also would call employees to persuade them to click on the emails and make them seem more authentic, prosecutors said. The FBI has hundreds of agents working on the investigation nationwide.

One of the many phishing emails used to trick victims into installing malware.

Losses totaled in the tens of millions of dollars.

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Fin7 operated in the U.K., Australia and France.

"We are under no illusions that we have taken this group down altogether, but we have made a significant impact", Hayes said.

The three FIN7 members are all Ukrainian nationals and have been charged with 26 felony counts of computer hacking, identity theft and wire fraud.

Fedir Hladyr is being held in Seattle pending trial after being handed over by the German authorities, who arrested the 33-year-old in January.

Hladyr was allegedly a systems administrator for FIN7 who maintained the cybercrime group's servers and communications. Mr. Hladyr is detained in Seattle and has a trial scheduled for October, while Mr. Fedorov remains in Poland and is facing a USA extradition request. The organization isn't suspected of having any ties to any foreign government, prosecutors said.

US Attorney for the Western District of Washington, Annette Hayes, said during a press conference today announcing the arrests that a main goal of the investigation was to make it plain that criminals can no longer rely on the worldwide nature of the internet to get away with their crimes.

The three alleged hackers used a fake company called Combi Security to recruit members, pretending to be based in Russian Federation and Israel.

The three men are accused of using malware to attack more than 120 United States companies, including the restaurant chains Chipotle and Arby's.

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