What is certainly one of the harshest
sentences yet imposed on a cyber-criminal – 30 years in prison –
has been handed down by a Turkish court to Maksym Yastremskiy
(alias Maksik) for hacking computer systems of 12 of the country’s

No stranger to crime, it would appear, Yastremskiy has also been
accused by US law enforcement agencies of playing a key role in the
theft of customer information from US retailers including TJX,
which operates retail stores TJ Maxx and Marshall’s, OfficeMax,
Barnes & Noble, Boston Market, Sports Authority, Forever 21,
DSW, BJ’s and Wholesale Club.

In August 2008, 11 people including Yastremskiy were charged in
the US with crimes related to these thefts in which a total some 40
million credit and debit card numbers were stolen by the gang,
according to the US Department of Justice.

Yastremskiy was accused of selling hundreds of thousands of
credit card numbers and other personal information.

Graham Cluley, a senior technology consultant at UK IT security
specialist Sophos believes Yastremskiy’s sentence sends out a very
strong message to other potential cyber-criminals.

“It may seem like the chances of being caught are extremely
small, but there are more and more convictions happening all the
time, and the authorities are getting better than ever at
co-operating at an international level to catch the bad guys,” said

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