The leader of an international hacking gang that stole debit card details and withdrew more than $14 million in ATM withdrawals over just one weekend has been sent to prison for 50 months.
A statement from the U.S. Attorney's office said German national Qendrim Dobruna had also been ordered to pay back the money he and his gang obtained by hacking into US banks to steal debit card data and removing withdrawal limits.
The hacks took place between February 27 and March 1, 2011 and were carried out from the 29 year old Dobruna's apartment in Stuttgart, Germany.
Acting US attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Kelly T. Currie said Dobruna and "his co-conspirators participated in a massive 21st Century heist that stretched around the globe”.
"Using sophisticated methods, the organisation reached into the computer systems of American-based corporations and transmitted illegally obtained private financial information to confederates in 18 different countries who stole millions of dollars from hundreds of ATMs in a matter of hours," said Currie.
"Today’s sentence serves as a warning to cybercriminals around the world that law enforcement is committed to solving these cybercrimes, no matter how sophisticated, and bringing the perpetrators to justice, wherever they may be found."
Robert J. Sica the Secret Service special agent who headed the investigation into the hacks, backed up Currie's warning.
"There is no such thing as anonymity in the cyber world, Secret Service agents utilise state-of-the-art investigative techniques to identify and pursue cyber criminals around the world." said Sica