MYNORTHWEST NEWS

Dutch ‘cyber sewer rat’ indicted in local hacking crimes

Jun 11, 2012, 2:27 PM | Updated: Jun 12, 2012, 5:29 am

A Dutch citizen, known as “Fortezza” in the hacking community, has been indicted in federal court in Seattle, accused of stealing thousands of credit card numbers and selling them online.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, David Benjamin Schrooten, 21, operated a website that sold stolen credit card numbers in bulk. The information was then used to make fraudulent purchases.

“This defendant has wrought havoc on victims and financial institutions around the world,” said U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan. “This indictment alleges that in just one transaction he trafficked in as many as 44,000 stolen credit card numbers resulting in millions of dollars in losses to financial institutions.”

The DOJ alleges that Schrooten and a co-conspirator, Christopher A. Schroebel, 21, of Keedysville, Md., hacked into the computer system of a restaurant in the Magnolia neighborhood and a restaurant supply store in Shoreline. Business owners notified the Seattle Police Department when customers reported fraudulent transactions on their accounts.

“Fortunately, the public was aware in this case. They started calling the restaurant to ask,” Durkin said. “These cyber criminals – they’re like cyber sewer rats. They’re constantly looking for places that they can get in to get personal information and steal it.”

Schrooten was extradited from Romania and faces 14 counts, including conspiracy, access device fraud, bank fraud, intentional damage to a computer, and aggravated identity theft.

Durkin said such cybercrimes often have international ties, and cost financial institutions billions of dollars each year.

Schrooten was extradited from Romania and faces 14 counts, including conspiracy, access device fraud, bank fraud, intentional damage to a computer, and aggravated identity theft.

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