Digital fraudster ‘tetereff’ gets five years hard time

A man behind bars

Estonian hacker Andrei Sergejev has been sentenced to five years in prison, following his arrest in March 2012.

The UK National Crime Agency (NCA) announced his sentencing in a statement on Wednesday. The sentencing comes one month after Sergejev, known as “tetereff” online, pleaded guilty to 12 charges.

The charges included creating an article used in fraud and two separate counts relating to cannabis. The Estonian national was arrested at his house in Walthamstow, London, in March 2012.

Police found compromised financial data, including utility bills and bank statements in numerous names on his computer equipment as well as “large numbers” of hard copy financial and identity documents.

The NCA believe he was using the stolen information to create sets of false ID packages to sell to criminals.

NCA National Cyber Crime Unit investigator Steve Pye listed the sentencing as a key victory in the agency’s ongoing battle against digital crime. “Once again, a criminal has found that operating online under an assumed name was not enough to escape the attentions of law enforcement,” he said.

“Sergejev was facilitating fraud on a significant scale, and this type of criminality comes at a significant cost to businesses and individuals in the UK. The NCA continues its efforts to drive down the threat from online crime.”

Sergejev’s sentencing comes mere days after US courts sentenced Romanian hacker Iulian Schiopu to 45 months in jail. Schiopu was involved in a sophisticated phishing scam that defrauded customers of big-name companies including PayPal, Citibank, eBay and Bank of America.

Selling stolen personal information on digital black markets is an increasingly common practice in cyber crime communities. Researchers at FireEye found Eastern European cyber criminals selling customer data stolen during a raid on US retailer Target in February.

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