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Estonian accused of RBS WorldPay hack extradited to U.S.

Suspect allegedly part of hacking ring that masterminded sophisticated attack against payment processor.

An Estonian man has been extradited to the U.S. and arraigned in connection with the 2008 RBS WorldPay hack and subsequent $9 million ATM heist.

Sergei Tsurikov, 26, of Tallinn, Estonia, was arraigned Friday on federal charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy to commit computer fraud, computer fraud, and aggravated identity theft, the FBI announced. A federal grand jury in Atlanta, Ga., indicted Tsurikov last November, along with Viktor Pleshchuk, 29, of St. Petersburg, Russia, Oleg Covelin, 29, of Chisinau, Moldova, and an unidentified person.

"With cooperation from law enforcement partners around the world, and most particularly in Estonia, we have now extradited to Atlanta one of the leaders of this ring," U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said in a prepared statement.

The indictment charged the suspects with using sophisticated hacking techniques to compromise the data encryption used by Atlanta-based RBS WorldPay, the U.S. payment processing division of the Royal Bank of Scotland, to protect sensitive data on payroll debit cards. Some companies use such cards to pay their employees.

The group then allegedly raised the account limits on compromised accounts and gave 44 counterfeit payroll debit cards to a network of "cashers," who used the cards to drain more than $9 million from more than 2,100 ATMs in 280 cities around the world in less than 12 hours, prosecutors said. Four others, all from Estonia, were indicted for access device fraud in the case.

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