A 27-year-old Romanian man was sentenced Monday to 21 months in prison after admitting he was part of a group that stole payment card data from hundreds of computers belonging to merchants in the U.S.
Cezar Butu, of Ploiesti, Romania, pleaded guilty in September in U.S. District Court in New Hampshire to one count of conspiracy to commit access fraud. Prosecutors alleged Butu was part of a group that hacked into the payment systems of merchants as part of a multimillion-dollar scheme, stealing stored payment card details.
In central Romania, nestled at the foot of the Carpathian mountains, is the city of Râmnicu Vâlcea. Its Facebook page claims a population of more than 92,500 residents, and according to French newspaper Le Monde, it boasts a dubious distinction related to online crime. Nicknamed “Hackerville,” Râmnicu Vâlcea is being called the international capital of Internet theft.
Two Romanian nationals thought to have been part of a gang that stole 500,000 credit cards from an Australian business have pleaded guilty to fleecing bank cards from 150 US Subway restaurants.
The pair admitted to participating in the “international, multimillion-dollar scheme” which saw them break into vulnerable merchant networks including Subway and swipe some 146,000 credit cards resulting in $10 million in losses.
The Romanian unit of Hewlett Packard is under investigation for possible abuse of its dominant market position, the Romanian anti-trust watchdog said on Wednesday.
HP's offices in Romania were raided by investigators and documents seized, the country's national competition council said in statement. "We suspect HP Romania of possibly abusing its dominant position through discriminatory behaviour towards certain partners and contractors," the council's head Bogdan Chiritoiu said.
A Romanian man already convicted in his home country of hacking into NASA computers at the the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Canada Flintridge has been indicted in the United States, officials announced Wednesday.
Robert Butkya, 25, of Cluj-Napoca, Romania, was indicted by a federal grand jury on allegations of unauthorized impairment of a protected computer, U.S. Department of Justice officials said in a written statement. The alleged hacking took place in December.