The U.S. Department of Homeland Security arrested Roman Valerevich Seleznev, a Russian citizen, over the weekend for hacking into U.S. retailers' computer systems in order to steal credit card information. However, Russia says the arrest is nothing more than a kidnapping, and believes the United States has violated a bilateral treaty.
Seleznev performed the hacks from 2009 to 2011. He was previously indicted in the U.S. in March of 2011 for bank fraud, aggravated identity theft and hacking into and damaging a protected computer. He also hacked into a number of websites, such as those of the Phoenix Zoo, Schlotzsky's Deli, and a number of other small restaurants. He was apprehended while traveling through the Maldives.
Roman Valerevich Seleznev also seems to be the son of Russian parliament member Valery Seleznev. Seleznev senior told Russia's state publication Itar-Tass that he has been unable to reach his son, "This is a monstrous lie and a provocative act."
This is the latest in a string of unpleasantries between the two nations. The Russian government has not yet made any public actions towards retrieving Seleznev, however, they did issue this statement, "We consider this as the latest unfriendly move from Washington. This is not the first time the U.S. side, ignoring a bilateral treaty ... on mutual assistance in criminal matters, has gone ahead with what amounts to the kidnapping of a Russian citizen."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.