Gang arrested in Canada for alleged credit card data heist

Graham Cluley
Graham Cluley
@[email protected]

A gang of alleged credit card data thieves who are said to have stolen CDN $1.8 million (approximately US $1.69 million) from a company in Calgary have been arrested by police in Canada.

According to media reports, investigators from the US Secret Service, Calgary, Vancouver worked together to apprehend the Montreal-based suspects, one of whom – Ehud Tenenbaum, an Israeli national – is a name known to the authorities, as he was caught illegally accessing Pentagon computers ten years ago. Tenebaum’s notoriety at the time lead Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to refer to him as “damn good… and very dangerous.”

Here is an Israeli TV news report, discussing Tenenbaum’s arrest, that has been posted on YouTube:

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If you’re like me and don’t speak Hebrew, don’t panic. Just skip forward through the video and you’ll see there are English language sections too.

As well as Tenenbaum, 29, the other people arrested are 30-year-old Priscilla Mastrangelo, 28-year old Jean Francois Ralph (also known as Ralph Jean-Francois) and 33-year-old Spyros Xenoulis, all living in Montreal.

The four suspected gang members are charged with fraudulent use of credit card data, and counts of fraud over $5000, and are scheduled to be seen in Calgary provincial court today.

The name of the targeted business has not been released, but it is said to be a national company that provides short-term credit and other financial services. According to police, hackers broke into the company’s computers in Calgary and changed the value of debit cards to an amount higher than their face price. Cash was then withdrawn from ATM machines at locations across Canada and abroad.

According to reports, surveillance footage at ATM machines may have helped identify individuals involved in the heist as they stole cash.

Investigators in Montreal have seized computer equipment from four properties that will be examined for evidence.

You would think that Tenenbaum, who likes to go by the name “The Analyzer”, would have steered well clear of future shenanigans involving cybercrime after having had his collar felt by the long arm of the law once in his life. If he really is guilty of this crime, then maybe Netanyahu should reassess his summary of the young Israeli, and just condense it to “no good… and very dumb.”

* Image source: Rockers generation’s Flickr photostream (Creative Commons 2.0)

Graham Cluley is an award-winning keynote speaker who has given presentations around the world about cybersecurity, hackers, and online privacy. A veteran of the computer security industry since the early 1990s, he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows, makes regular media appearances, and is the co-host of the popular "Smashing Security" podcast. Follow him on Twitter, Mastodon, Threads, Bluesky, or drop him an email.

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