Interview with a carder: I'm talking about this openly because if a person is in Ukraine, they don't go to jail for it at all

Mar 8, 2024, 9:29:26 AM

Until the 1990s, no one in the former Soviet Union even thought about cybercrime. Although it was during that difficult time that the first hackers appeared in the post-Soviet space. For a long time, they did not make themselves known, and only in early 2000 did the whole world learn about the existence of hackers. The heyday of innovative technologies in 2010 led to the emergence of an increasing number of young boys and girls who imagined themselves to be the real "gods" of the Internet space. They stole everything they could and were not punished for it.

What has changed in 30 years in the legislation in the post-Soviet space regarding the concept of cybercrime? Almost nothing. As for Ukraine, the concept of Cyberpolice (Department of Cyberpolice of the National Police of Ukraine), which is part of the criminal police of the National Police and, in accordance with the legislation of Ukraine, ensures the implementation of state policy in the field of combating cybercrime, appeared in October 2015. 

What are the types of cybercrime that can be prosecuted under the Criminal Code of Ukraine?

If you decide to unauthorizedly interfere with the operation of information, electronic communication, information and communication systems, electronic communication networks, then, according to Article 361 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine, your activities are punishable by a fine of six hundred to one thousand tax-free minimum incomes or restraint of liberty for a term of two to five years or imprisonment for a term of up to three years.

If you decide to create a malicious program or hardware for the purpose of unlawful use, distribution or sale, as well as their distribution or sale, you fall under Article 361-1 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine and may be punished by a fine of five hundred to one thousand tax-free minimum incomes, or correctional labor for up to two years, or imprisonment for the same term.

If you decide to unauthorizedly sell or distribute restricted information stored in computers, automated systems, computer networks or on the media of such information, you are subject to Article 361-2 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine, which provides for a fine of five hundred to one thousand tax-free minimum incomes or imprisonment for up to two years.

It should be noted that if you commit all of the above crimes in collusion with other persons, it will be a group crime and you will be liable accordingly.

In addition, the activities of cybercriminals are qualified under Article 200 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine - illegal actions with transfer documents, payment cards and other means of access to bank accounts, electronic money, equipment for their production, you will be punished by a fine of three to five thousand tax-free minimum incomes. 

Two more articles may be related to cybercrime: Part 3 of Article 190 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine "Fraud committed through illegal operations with the use of electronic computers" and Article 231 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine "Illegal collection for the purpose of using or exploiting information constituting a commercial or banking secret". 

That's it, all criminal offenses. In Ukraine, there is the concept of phishing and carding, but the punishment for these crimes is minimal. For hackers, Ukraine is a paradise. If you steal a little bit for a living, you can live without looking back at the Criminal Code.

We contacted a person who lives in Ukraine and has firsthand knowledge of this area, and is a direct participant in it. Of course, we can't tell you his name, but what he told us is the truth in the first instance, from the mouth of a person who lives it. We will call this person Anonymous. Anonymous is confident that cybercrime in Ukraine will remain invisible not only to the cyber police, but also to the victim. The high latency of cybercrime in Ukraine is due to the fact that, for example, the victim often sees the damage from a cybercrime as insignificant compared to the investigation procedure, which takes a lot of time and does not guarantee prosecution and compensation for damages. Sometimes victims fear damage to their reputation in business circles and, as a result, loss of customers. This circumstance is typical for banks and large financial and industrial corporations. The fact of committing a cybercrime casts doubt on the professional suitability and competence of individual officials, which may ultimately lead to negative consequences for them. All of these factors, according to our interlocutor, give Ukrainian citizens involved in carding, phishing, and vishing enough chances to remain at large and not be punished.

"I've been "clicking" them on the Internet all my life and have been dealing with "bourgeois" for more than a decade. I speak about this openly, because if a person is in Ukraine, they are not imprisoned for this at all. People are arrested if they actually go abroad. That's why I live here and don't worry about my future.

Fourteen countries in the world do not imprison people for these types of crimes. In addition to Ukraine, these are the countries of the former Soviet Union, Iraq, Iran, the United Arab Emirates, Vietnam, Syria, and China. If a person is in these countries, he or she can steal any amount of money and will not be punished for it. If he suddenly leaves the country, he is immediately arrested by the security services."

What happens next to people who fall into the hands of the US intelligence services or similar services in Europe?

These people are severely "pressed". 

According to Anonymous:

"If a person is detained, they will not let him or her go. People are intimidated with a long prison term. They put moral and physical pressure.

Those who refuse to cooperate with the investigation and do not recognize the charges, their lives are not to be envied. First of all, a person is held in custody for a very long time without a verdict, and they do not even know how long their sentence will be. These are not small terms, but at least twenty years. Only after a person has served their sentence can they return to their homeland.  

If a person agrees to cooperate with the investigation, he or she is detained for several years and then released, but the person is not allowed to leave the United States and works for the intelligence services for the rest of his or her life, identifying those who work in this area against the cybersecurity laws of the United States.

From there, there are two ways. Either you plead guilty, serve a short sentence, and then spend the rest of your life catching people like you. Or you plead not guilty, serve a long sentence, but then you can be free."

World-famous cybercriminals and how their fates turned out.

Dmytro Smelyanets stole 160 million US card data, 300,000,000 in damage. He was arrested in the Netherlands, extradited to the United States, served five years, and faced a lot of threats, now he is free in the United States, giving interviews and teaching how to live 

Maksym Yakubets Evil. The group headed by Yakubets stole more than a billion dollars. Yevhen Nikulin was arrested because he went abroad, all other gang members are free and in no danger if they do not go anywhere 

Roman Vega is one of the carders of the 2000s. He served 17 years in prison in the United States 

part two 

In the summer of 2007, Kharkiv resident Maksym Yastremsky, aka hacker Maksym, was arrested in Turkey, who hacked credit cards via the Internet and transferred money to his accounts in 13 countries. He stole 11 million US dollars.

The U.S. Department of Justice demanded that Yastremsky be extradited to America to stand trial under its laws. However, the Turkish authorities refused to extradite the Ukrainian, as 12 banking institutions have claims against the Ukrainian in this country alone.

In March 2009, an Antalya court found Maksym guilty of 12 thefts from Turkish banks and sentenced him to 30 years in prison.

In May 2008, Ukrainian Yegor Shevelev was detained on a US warrant while on vacation in Greece. He was believed to be a member of a hacker group that stole payment cards and caused $4 million in material damage. According to the investigation, while staying in Kyiv from November 2001 to August 2007, he sold 95,000 stolen cards, earning more than $600,000.

In August 2013, a US court found Shevelev guilty and sentenced him to 40 years in prison.

In June 2014, Ukrainian Serhiy Vovnenko was detained in Italy on an American warrant. According to prosecutors, Vovnenko, under the nicknames Thomas Rimkis, Flycracker, Flyck, Fly (Fly), Centurion, MUXACC1, Strainer and Darklife, from September 2010 to August 2012, penetrated the computers of individuals and companies in the United States and other countries with accomplices and stole data that gave access to bank accounts.

In 2015, he was extradited to the United States. Vovnenko was formally charged with conspiracy to commit fraud, computer hacking, and identity theft. Initially, the Ukrainian pleaded not guilty, but a month before the sentencing, he pleaded guilty.

In February 2017, a court in New Jersey sentenced Ukrainian hacker Serhiy Vovnenko to 41 months in prison and ordered him to pay a fine of $83,368,000.

Of course, this is not an exhaustive list of individuals who have been arrested for cybercrime and convicted under U.S. cybercrime laws, but it is enough to understand how the global cyberpolice works and what awaits those who are hunted by Interpol, police in the United States, Europe, Turkey, Ukraine, and Russia. 

It is also clear that there is no systematic approach to protecting international cyberspace and cybersecurity, which is why US intelligence agencies are trying to make a good look at a bad game. They are not able to catch the real organizers of criminal schemes, it is easier to scapegoat someone who at least meets their idea of a "hacker".

To be continued...

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