When Roman Seleznev, the son of a member of Russia's parliament, arrived at the Maldives airport to fly home from vacation, he was greeted by U.S. federal agents, says Politico. Now he is sitting in a Seattle jail, accused of hacking into U.S. businesses from Russia to steal hundreds of thousands of Americans' credit and debit card information and selling it on extensive underground criminal forums. The international Seleznev dragnet is a powerful example of what FBI Director James Comey calls efforts to “shrink the world the way the bad guys have” in cyberspace.
With international hacking crimes against U.S. retailers like Target and Home Depot on the rise, criminals can pick the pockets of hundreds of thousands of unsuspecting victims from across oceans with the click of a button and some lines of code. “A burglar can only burgle one house at a time, but a cyber criminal can rob 100 million computers while he is sleeping from a distance,” said Troels Oerting, head of the European Cybercrime Centre, Europol. “You're trying to fight 21st-century crime with 18th-century weapons in law enforcement.” Still, law enforcement officials from the local to the international want to send the message that they aren't untouchable.