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The Russian cybermafia: Beginnings

M. E. Kabay and Bradley Guinen | March 21, 2011
The CJ341 Cyberlaw & Cybercrime course in the Criminal Justice department at Norwich University requires a short (3,000 word) term paper from each student. The students choose relevant topics that interest them and work through the semester on outlines and drafts before submitting their final version for grading. The paper by US Army ROTC Cadet Bradley Guinen demonstrated excellent research and provided interesting information for his fellow students and for readers of this column. Cadet Guinen and Mich Kabay collaborated closely in adapting Guinen's work for this series of three columns.

It was only in July 1994 that Citibank customers began reporting a total of $400,000 missing from two accounts. The Citibank's security system was able to flag two transfers in August 1994. One was for $26,800, the other for $304,000. Bank officials immediately contacted the FBI, which began tracking Levin as he continued to trespass into Citibank's systems and make more transfers. They tracked a total of 18 login sessions over a few weeks between June and October 1994. Through the efforts of the FBI authorities, Citibank officials, and Russian telephone employees, they pinpointed the source of Levin's operation to the workplace of Levin in St. Petersburg, Russia. He was finally arrested in Heathrow airport in London in March 1995. But this was just one of the first occurrences that brought Russian organized cybercrime to the FBI's watch list.

More in part two of this three-part series.


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