Gamer turned alleged credit card hacker claims he is innocent

A Russian gamer accused of being part of the largest cybercrime ring ever has denied charges that could send him to prison for decades.

Dmitriy Smilianets, 29, of Moscow, told a Newark court that he was wrongfully arrested and he would fight the charges.

The prosecution claim that Smilianets conspired with a team of hackers from Russia and the Ukraine to steal more than 160 million credit card numbers in a series of breaches that cost companies more than $300 million.

According to Reuters, financial firms such as NASDAQ and Heartland Payment Systems, JetBlue Airways and J.C. Penney were hit.

Smilianets is alleged to have sold the stolen data after it was taken by four other members of his team. He was allegedly selling US credit card data for $10 and $50 for a European number.

He was extradited to the United States in September 2012 and has remained in federal custody since.

In Russia, he was most widely known as the founder of a computer gaming team called Moscow 5, which travelled the world for competitions.

He faces up to 30 years for conspiracy to commit wire fraud, another 30 years for wire fraud and five years each for gaining unauthorized access to computers and conspiracy to gain access.

The court heard how authorities had been pursuing the hackers for years.

The five disabled victims’ anti-virus software and stored data on multiple hacking platforms, prosecutors said.

They allegedly sold payment card numbers to resellers, who then resold them on online forums or to “cashers” who encode the numbers onto blank plastic cards.