Chicago woman jailed in $9M ATM hack

Aug. 22, 2012 at 10:16 AM   |   Comments

ATLANTA, Aug. 22 (UPI) -- A Chicago woman will spend 2 1/2 years in jail for her part in the theft of more than $9 million from ATMs around the world, federal agents say.

Sonya Martin was sentenced Tuesday in Atlanta for what FBI agents said was one of the most sophisticated and organized computer hacking schemes they had ever seen, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Martin, 45, was convicted of being the manager of a group that hacked into the computer network of payroll processor WorldPay U.S. Inc. of Atlanta in November 2008.

Hackers accessed payroll records and debit card information companies used to pay employees. They raised the payroll balances and withdrawal limits on the hacked accounts.

"Cashers" then used the information to empty the accounts.

In all, more than $9 million was stolen from 2,100 ATMs in 280 cities around the world, U.S. District Court documents indicated. The whole operation was conducted in less than 12 hours.

Martin was arrested in March 2011 as she attempted to fly to London from New York.

She also was sentenced to five years supervised release and ordered to make restitution of $89,120.25.

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