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Former Moscow 5 owner charged in “largest hacking and data breach scheme ever prosecuted in the United States”

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

For over a decade, Dmitry ‘ddd1ms’ Smilianets ran Moscow 5, a major force in pro Dota, Counter-Strike and League of Legends. But his extracurricular activities saw him arrested last July in a global operation by the FBI’s cyber-crime unit, and his teams disassembled in the months that followed.

US authorities yesterday revealed that Smilianets is among five Russian and Ukrainian nationals charged with running a sophisticated hacking network. The group stole at least 160 million debit and credit card numbers, and consequently hundreds of millions of dollars.

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US Attorney Paul Fishman said that the case was the “largest hacking and data breach scheme ever prosecuted in the United States”. The five suspects reportedly seized corporate data, exchanging instant messages as they did so. “NASDAQ is owned,” read one.

Smilianets was responsible for selling on information, say US authorities, and was arrested in the country while “sightseeing”. He has remained in custody since, and will re-emerge in federal court next week.

Bruce Provda, Smilianets’ lawyer, said that he faced “a rather complex international charge of hacking”.

“If it goes to trial, it’s going to be a lengthy trial,” he said.

Last July, a statement on Moscow 5’s site suggested he had been arrested in Amsterdam.

“Dima was indeed travelling to Amsterdam for leisure purposes and he was indeed arrested,” it 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.”

Moscow 5’s Dota team disbanded in September, blaming declining results, and in January manager Konstantin ‘groove’ Pikiner admitted defeat. He announced that the eSports organisation would shut down, citing financial strain in the wake of Smilianets’ arrest. Moscow 5’s LoL team quickly reformed as Gambit Gaming under Pikiner’s leadership.

Shadiest eSports Manager is going to be a shoo-in this year, isn’t it?

Thanks, Gamespot.