[ISN] Two face charges of cyber extortion

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Thu May 23 2002 - 02:53:23 PDT

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    Wednesday, May 22, 2002
    Associated Press
    NEW YORK - Two men from Kazakhstan who were caught two years ago with 
    help from Michael Bloomberg, in his role as a businessman, have been 
    brought to the United States to face extortion charges, authorities 
    said Tuesday.
    Oleg Zezov, 28, and Igor Yarimaka, 38, both of Almaty, Kazakhstan, 
    were accused of trying to extort $200,000 from Bloomberg L.P. after 
    breaking into the company's computer system.
    They were brought to the United States on Friday. A federal magistrate 
    judge on Monday ordered them detained.
    Prosecutors say Bloomberg, the company's founder and now mayor of New 
    York City, aided the capture by persuading the men to meet him in 
    London after Zezov allegedly demanded by e-mail that he deposit 
    $200,000 into an offshore account.
    Lawyers for the men did not immediately return telephone messages for 
    A criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan by 
    Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul B. Radvany stated that Bloomberg met with 
    both defendants in London on Aug. 10, 2000.
    At the time, Bloomberg was accompanied by two London Metropolitan 
    police officers who posed as a company executive and a translator.
    The complaint alleged that Yarimaka claimed at the meeting that he was 
    a former Kazakhstan prosecutor and that he represented his companion, 
    a man he identified as "Alex," as the person who would handle the 
    Zezov, who had worked for a company that produced database services 
    for Bloomberg, and Yarimaka both reiterated their demands at the 
    meeting and were arrested afterward, prosecutors said.
    According to court papers, Yarimaka said they had not committed any 
    crimes but were trying to get paid for showing that Bloomberg's 
    computer security system was inept.
    "We take hacking crimes very seriously," U.S. Attorney James B. Comey 
    said in a release.
    If convicted on charges of extortion and unauthorized computer 
    intrusion, the men face potential penalties of more than 20 years in 
    prison and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines.
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