Former eSports team owner charged in massive hacking

Dmitry 'ddd1ms' Smilianets charged as part of "largest hacking and data breach scheme ever prosecuted in the United States."

Just over one year ago, it was reported that the owner of a large Russian eSports/competitive gaming team Moscow 5, Dmitry 'ddd1ms' Smilianets--with world-class teams in League of Legends, Dota 2, and Counter-Strike--was arrested as part of a global operation by the FBI’s cyber crimes unit.

Image credit: goodgame.ru

Today, US authorities confirmed Smilianets' role in the operation, with US Attorney Paul Fishman calling the case the "largest hacking and data breach scheme ever prosecuted in the United States."

Smilianets is among five Russian and Ukrainian nationals charged in running a sophisticated hacking network, stealing at least 160 million debit and credit card numbers, resulting in the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars. The indictment said the suspects sent each other instant messages as they took control of the corporate data, telling each other, for instance: "NASDAQ is owned."

Smilianets is in US custody and is expected to appear in federal court next week. His New York-based lawyer, Bruce Provda, said Smilianets was in the US "sightseeing" when he was arrested.

"It's a rather complex international charge of hacking," Provda said. "If it goes to trial, it's going to be a lengthy trial."

Smilianets was the information salesman, the government said.

Initial reports of Smilianets' arrest last July had him arrested in Amsterdam, with an official post on Moscow 5's site (now removed) stating that funding for the team would continue for the near future.

"Dima was indeed travelling to Amsterdam for leisure purposes and he was indeed arrested," the statement read. "Even though it took place a couple of days ago, motives of Dutch police are still unknown."

"Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation does not possess any kind of information about the arrest, since Dutch police refuses to provide it. In order to handle this unfortunate situation his father has departed to Amsterdam. Hopefully, he will be able to do so. Despite these unpleasant circumstances, our Dota 2 and LoL squads are going to continue with their preparations to upcoming tournaments."

On January 10, Moscow 5's manager, Konstantin "groove" Pikiner, who had been trying to keep the organization going, announced that the team would be forced to shut down due in large part to the arrest of Smilianets and the financial strain it caused.

Several days later, Pikiner announced that the championship League of Legends team would form under the new organization Gambit Gaming to participate in Riot’s League of Legends Championship Series.

Pikiner declined comment to GameSpot regarding the situation.

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184 comments
Skhuff
Skhuff

It seems like every Russian is a hacker.

D-Ripp
D-Ripp

i wish i was his lawyer so he could teach me his ways

Detriiment
Detriiment

Haha wow I wonder how many others in the world there are like him.

00Joseph00
00Joseph00

Whatever happens, don't sensationalize this man so many more want to beat his record.

okassar
okassar

If they just did it for lels then givem a pat on the back and thank them for exposing a loophole. If they actually used any significant amount of money don't kid yourself they need some time in the dungeon.

redskinStu
redskinStu

This is your top story? What about Vivendi selling Activision today? Come on boys, get on it.

nurnberg
nurnberg

I am sure that many "pros" are actually hackers and cheaters.  Since several games started offering huge prizes, the problem will only worsen.

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

Oh thank god the LoL team reformed.  That was clearly the most important thing.

nanosphere
nanosphere

He's probably sitting in a cell now wondering when he'll respawn.

4le_breVVer
4le_breVVer

OMG !! is this like being caught doping in the Olympics?

esports! get it? oh nvm.

BamaGoatt
BamaGoatt

Please invoke the vodka made me do it defense!

Barrakas21
Barrakas21

This is ridiculous...the world most corrupted goverment in the world arresting for data breach..lol

Ceclor
Ceclor

Oh, those Russians.  Anything for a good time.  /shrug

JediLegacy
JediLegacy

I like pretending that the embedded image is a photo-capture of him riding up the hill in his imaginary roller coaster.

Bgrngod
Bgrngod

Yet still no banks arrested for gambling away the life savings of millions of people....

gplayer5
gplayer5

LOL looks like Anonymous and Lulzsec have some major competition. See? That's how you hack. Make people lose millions of dollars instead of those useless DDos attacks. =D

Snakepond1
Snakepond1

The only hacker I know is ZeroCool. Broke into the FBI database when he was five or was that a movie?

telaros
telaros

Off topic, but can anyone answer why the "Indies Respond to Xbox One" news post not working? Did Gamespot take it down for some reason?

MJ-X
MJ-X

I think all this is baseless and partly as a reply to the Snowden situation as he is still in Russia not being returned to the US under any obligation by the Russian government.


Call me a conspiracy theorist if you like but thats how i see it a group of gamers with elite teams in games to play and manage not mention its not only a one game that on its own is a profession cant see them having time for that sort of stuff.

If i have that amount of money i'll be doing a whole different things than managing the teams and competing in games as a profession.

Butt_Chunx
Butt_Chunx

Never trust those damn commie ruskies!!! This is why we should sever all internet connections with russia and while were at it, china as well.

spindie
spindie

@Skhuff lol if you have ever played the warz (yes garbage blah blah save it) literally every hacker i've come across just so happens to be russian

coldfirex44
coldfirex44

@nurnberg I agree with you there... although those who are playing competitively in eSports should be very careful when hacking.

OldDirtyCR
OldDirtyCR

@Barrakas21 Yes because arresting someone for stealing over 160 MILLION debit/credit card # is ridiculous.

Get over it. It's not a wiki leaks type issue. This isn't related to just classified information. This theft on an absolutely insane scale. How much money do you think was wasted by banks and credit card companies who had to sift through and reverse fradualant charges. What about the people who find out their bank account is empty, or that they have thousands of dollars of charges on their card?

This is not an issue of politics. This "man" messed with the lives of normal people. It's saddening to see people like yourself try turn this into a political debate.

Sibaja
Sibaja

@Barrakas21 Go fuck yourself. 'Merica!

vrasidastd
vrasidastd

@Desynkronic that's kind of the point i think, not like anonymous making a big deal out of every ddos attack on a goverment site...

Shadowdanc3r
Shadowdanc3r

@telaros  That seems to happen when an article is getting updated or a background image is getting added.  

OldDirtyCR
OldDirtyCR

@MJ-X If you have the ability to steal hundreds of millions of dollars, hundreds of millions of credit cards, etc, you don't think you would make time for that?

This is honestly the worst conspiracy I've ever read.

ShimmeringSword
ShimmeringSword

@MJ-X So lets get this straight, the US reasoning is "we're mad about a whistle blower hiding in russia, so we're going to frame and arrest professional videogamers", and your reason they're not hackers is "criminals with money don't have time to play videogames".

Be careful mate you're on to something, United States tier one operatives might be surrounding your house this very minute.

Get a life.

Lhomity
Lhomity

@MJ-X I've heard more convincing Elvis sighting stories.

fiend_
fiend_

@MJ-X LOL, this guy was a scumbag, thieves are one of the lowest on the scumbag totem pole

Rayzakk
Rayzakk

@MJ-X I would call you a conspiracy theorist but your theory is really crappy. 

MJ-X
MJ-X

@Butt_Chunx 

Lol NSA is the biggest invasive organisation atm keeping watch ion international internet cables.

Beats me how you figured US is a victim every time something bad happens to it but never bat your eye when its the US doing this to other countries.

gaming_binge
gaming_binge

@Butt_Chunx you might as well cut off the entire world; if you've actually traveled internationally, then you would find out that everyone hates the US

nyran125tk
nyran125tk

@OldDirtyCR God, I wish we gave a sht everytime Golden Sachs rips off Wall Street  and gets billion dollar bail outs from the Govt while bankrupting entire cities , while only a few individuals run off with all the money and pay off key figures in government so they can continue their criminal activities.

Rayzakk
Rayzakk

@MJ-X Perhaps every nation is doing it to every other when they can get away with it.  Oh well at least I don't have to worry as I just learned that a Nigerian prince is giving me money after I transfer him some money.   I also have someone in England that wants to send me money after I give them my bank account info.

telaros
telaros

@shakydvs010 @Butt_Chunx You should probably stop talking now lol;;;

America is the biggest crook when it comes tospying including on its own citizens behind their backs and passing secret laws unconstitutionally invading our privacy and collecting all your skype chats and voice logs as your cell phone calls and text. 

They got caught recently illegally swallowing up data on China and Russia. Government is out of control and aim to eliminate any and all resistance. They are STILL very much working on trying to 'update' the bill of constitutions.

That's why you need to stop being paranoid of the outside world, and start looking within and fight to keep whatever rights you still have as an American.

lockmuertos
lockmuertos

@somatzu @MJ-X @Rayzakk blame the ruling class ? how typical. LISTEN, BIG BROTHER gov't doesn't need the permission of rich boogymen to control everyone.  More often then not, it's the Socialist governments that are the BEST at spying and controlling it's citizens. 


MJ-X
MJ-X

@Rayzakk @MJ-X omg I get those things happening to me too, must be fate :D

But seriously i know everyone does it whenever they can along with getting away with it as im not on any side but my reply was mainly to him based on what he said not bashing the US or Russia in the process just facts.

telaros
telaros

@somatzu @telaros @shakydvs010 @Butt_Chunx Very true indeed. Well said. Shame you don't hear many putting up resistance against wallstreet much anymore.

Makes me wonder what happened to that movement. I know its still going on overseas in other countries, but it seems to be dead in teh states.

Though I have not followed up on that much in some time arguably.

shakydvs010
shakydvs010

@telaros @shakydvs010 @Butt_Chunx ... LOL... umm.... really????  You didnt see the sarcasm in my post about "The rest of the world doesn't hack"?

Thanks for the funny laugh thinking im being paranoid etc.  Maybe direct it to the OP who seems to be the one with the issue.