The Biggest Virtual Case
Hacking is not just about curiosity or challenge, sometimes money is involved. Hacking a bank to get some money on the side is the best known example, and can sometimes result in the loss of millions. Such is the case, for example, of Vladimir Levin, who gained a share of infamy by stealing several million dollars under confusing circumstances.
Ten Million Dollars Stolen
In 1994, Levin infiltrated the internal network of the American bank Citibank, hacking the bank's analog connection and gaining access to several accounts. Once inside, he transferred $10.7 million to accounts in the United States, Finland, Germany, Israel and the Netherlands. He made these transfers with the help of three accomplices, who were instructed to recover the stolen sums.
His accomplices, however, were arrested when they tried to snatch the stolen funds. Their interrogation allowed the path back to Levin, who worked as programmer for a computer company based in St Petersburg, Russia, to be traced. He was arrested in March 1995 while on layover at Heathrow airport in London. Legal proceedings against him did not start until September 1997, and were completed in February 1998. He was sentenced to three years in prison.