A Dutchman was accused this week of stealing more than 44,000 credit card numbers. He stood in front of the U.S. federal court and pled not guilty, and the outcome of the case has yet to be decided. 44,000 numbers may seem like a lot, but police say that it’s just “the tip of the iceberg.”
David Schrooten, known as Fortezza online, allegedly hacked into a series of computers and stole thousands upon thousands of credit card numbers. The 44,000 he answered for in court was a single sale. It’s reported that he had at least ten more sales lined up. They were sold in bulk quantities on the Internet.
Thousands of credit card numbers had already been sold before police caught wind of Schrooten in November. A Seattle restaurant owner called the police after several customers who ate at his restaurant were getting charged $80 just minutes after paying their bills at the restaurant. The paper trail led right back to Schrooten and his alleged partner in crime, Schroebel. Schroebel put malware in the sales systems of dozens of businesses in attempts to capture credit card information. The websites that then sold the information to other companies were created by both Schrooten and Shroebel.
“People think that cyber criminals cannot be found or apprehended. Today we know that’s not true. You cannot hide in cyberspace,” U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan said when asked about this case. “We will find you. We will charge you. We will extradite you and we will prosecute you.”
Shroebel was arrested in late November of last year and pled guilty to all of the charges brought against him. Shrooten was arrested in Romania and is now being charged for device fraud, identity theft, and 12 other counts. The investigation in search of other people that were involved is still ongoing.