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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

5 Hackers Charged With Theft

Police arrested five suspected hackers accused of stealing credit card numbers from Internet retailers and pocketing more than 18 million rubles ($630,000), Itar-Tass reported Friday.

The group, operating from December through April, stole numbers from more than 5,400 cards belonging to Russians and foreigners, police said, the news agency reported.

The 22-year-old alleged mastermind registered an Internet retailer called "Politshop" and made an agreement with a Moscow bank for handling credit card transactions, the report said.

Other members of the group allegedly cracked the systems of genuine Internet retailers, stole the credit card numbers of their customers and made bogus purchases from Politshop, thus moving money from the victim's banks to Politshop's accounts, the report said.

The report did not say what kinds of goods Politshop supposedly offered or how the group was caught. Other suspects include a 19-year-old technical college student, 19- and 22-year-old unemployed men, and a 40-year-old businessman, Itar-Tass reported.

It was not clear whether or not the ring had any connection to the group that cracked Moscow's ATM system last year, using inside connections at a major local transaction processing center to steal cardholder information.

Members of the fraud ring used the information to manufacture hundreds of illegal copies of ATM cards abroad, which were then used by accomplices to make unauthorized withdrawals from bank machines located in cities from London to Tel Aviv.

Several Moscow-based expatriates reported having their bank accounts cleaned out by the ATM ring.