By Spencer S. Hsu
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, August 12, 2010; B04
A founder of one of the world's most sophisticated Internet sites for trafficking stolen credit card information has been arrested by French police based on a U.S. criminal indictment unsealed Wednesday, the U.S. Secret Service and Justice Department announced.
Vladislav Anatolieviech Horohorin, 27, was seized at the Nice airport Saturday en route from the Mediterranean principality of Monaco to Moscow, where he resides, authorities said. Horohorin, a citizen of Israel and Ukraine, where he was born, was indicted in November by a federal grand jury in the District on charges of credit card fraud and aggravated identity theft.
The Secret Service called Horohorin, known online as "BadB," one of its five most wanted cyber-criminals in the world. He is part of a "network that has been repeatedly linked to nearly every major intrusion of financial information reported" to international authorities, said Michael Merritt, the Secret Service's assistant director for investigations.
Horohorin allegedly used online criminal forums such as CarderPlanet, carder.su, and badb.biz to sell stolen credit card data, known as "dumps," and helped create the first and only fully automated site available to buyers worldwide, according to court documents.
Badb.biz welcomes visitors with a ribald cartoon portraying Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin awarding gold medals to cyber-criminals. The Web site claims credit for stealing information from 1 million Americans and seeks recruits.
"Carders needs you!" says the cartoon, which features "Star Wars" storm troopers, buxom women and cigar-chomping rogues wearing red star-emblazoned caps. "We awaiting you to fight the imperialism of the USA. That way we invest US funds in Russian economy and make it grow bigger."
Horohorin allegedly advertised the availability of stolen account information and directed undercover Secret Service purchasers to dumps.name, a fully automated Web site that he operated outside the United States. Agents obtained the data by following instructions to make payment through online currency services such as Webmoney, hosted in Russia, the indictment states.
Horohorin was being held while awaiting extradition after French officials located him with U.S. assistance, U.S. officials said.