[ISN] Hacker in $300,000 ATM fraud jailed for three years

From: InfoSec News (alerts@private)
Date: Mon May 26 2008 - 23:08:45 PDT


The New Zealand Herald
May 24, 2008

An Auckland computer hacker, who scammed hundreds of thousands of 
dollars and attracted the FBI to New Zealand, has been jailed for three 

Thomasz Grygoruk, 22, was jailed on five charges of blackmail, document 
and computer fraud when he appeared in the High Court at Auckland 

Grygoruk spent five years and used an internet scam getting personal 
details from people to make A" cards. He then used the cards to withdraw 
up to $300,000.

The court heard he also got into the email account of an American 
teacher in Pennsylvania and tried to blackmail him, threatening to 
disclose details of a relationship with a student unless he was paid 
US$10,000 ($13,000). The relationship was not inappropriate.

Grygoruk had threatened to tell the teacher's local police and newspaper 
he was a paedophile who was romantically involved with the student.

The teacher called the FBI and an FBI agent pretended to be the 
teacher's accountant and later traced Grygoruk's New Zealand address.

The FBI also sent an agent to New Zealand last year to help with the 

Over five years Grygoruk used trojan computer viruses that allowed him 
to access personal information on the internet from thousands of 

He set up bank websites and sent thousands of unsolicited emails 
inviting individuals to provide personal details including credit card 
numbers and PIN numbers under the illusion they were being provided to 
the bank.

Using that information he created magnetic cards and got between 
$200,000 and $300,000 in cash from A" machines.

In the High Court at Auckland, Crown prosecutor Simon Mount said the 
offending was sophisticated and involved a large degree of planning.

However, he also said it was a mitigating factor that Grygoruk 
voluntarily went to the police to confess some of the computer scams 
that could otherwise have been undetected.

Justice Lyndon Stevens said home detention was not appropriate but added 
a rider that Grygoruk would greatly benefit from treatment for substance 
abuse and behavioural issues once he was released from jail.

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