Subway’s delicious submarine sandwiches are a favorite food to many people throughout this country. Some people could want to eat them for a lifetime, and perhaps that’s why a trio of Romanian hackers decided that they would go out and steal a grand total of $10,000,000 from the countrywide chain. A couple days ago, two of the men, Iulian Dolan and Cezar Butu, pleaded guilty to a U.S District Court in New Hampshire on the 17th of September. Tiberiu Oprea, the third member, is awaiting his trial and is currently in custody. They just couldn’t keep their secret Subway plot underground anymore. The majority of the money obtained was gathered on a two year span going from late 2009 to late 2011. Dolan has been sent to jail for a total of seven years whilst his partner, Butu, managed to get away with only 21 months.
This entire hack wouldn’t have been possible had it not been for our generation’s huge shift into wireless and Internet enabled devices. Even swipe machines are connected to the web these days, and that was just how these three Romanian men managed to get millions of dollars from the wallets of over 6,000 Subway fans. Dolan, the mastermind of the plan, remotely scanned the web, looking for vulnerable points of access in Subway’s money holding systems. Over 150 of these vulnerabilities were found, and Dolan was quick to place key-logging devices into all of these systems. A key-logger is really a simply thing, especially when hooked up to something like a card scanner. The card of the victim would get swiped and, before you could say “fraud,” all of your personal credit information would be in the hands of the notorious owner of the virus.
Dolan sent all of this information to the operation’s third wheel, Oprea, who would then store away the info and stolen cash in an electronic storage space called a “dump site.” Around 5,000 to 7,500 dollars on average were stolen from every single credit card that the keylogger sapped the info off of. Cezar Butu took some of the stolen data from Oprea and attempted to sell it to other virtual attackers that were looking for an easy fraud attempt. All of this communication was eventually the downfall of the Romanian group as their conversations were found and tracked. Without anything left to do and with plain evidence against them, the Romanians gave up and pleaded guilty. If they ever try to do a similar plan upon their release from prison, perhaps they won’t try to bite off more than they can chew.