Two men plead guilty to hacking Subway stores

Romanians admit to being part of ring that hacked into payment systems at sandwich shops and stole credit card data.

Elinor Mills Former Staff Writer
Elinor Mills covers Internet security and privacy. She joined CNET News in 2005 after working as a foreign correspondent for Reuters in Portugal and writing for The Industry Standard, the IDG News Service and the Associated Press.
Elinor Mills
2 min read

Two Romanian men pled guilty to working with others to hack into point-of-sale terminals at hundreds of Subway stores in the U.S. to steal credit card data from more than 146,000 accounts between 2009 and 2011, federal prosecutors said.

Iulian Dolan, 28, and Cezar Iulian Butu, 27, entered guilty pleas Monday in federal court to one count of conspiracy to commit computer fraud, the Department of Justice said in a statement.

Dolan also pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to commit credit card fraud and has agreed to spend seven years in prison. He admitted helping the alleged ringleader of the hacking group, Adrian-Tiberiu Oprea, to scan the target computers, crack the passwords and install keystroke loggers that would grab data from cards as they were swiped and PIN data keyed in, according to the plea agreement.

Members of the group used the stolen payment card data to make unauthorized charges and to transfer funds from those accounts, the DOJ says. Prosecutors allege that the ring's actions resulted in more than $10 million in losses.

In his plea agreement, Butu admitted to asking Oprea for stolen data. Butu has agreed to a 21-month prison sentence. Oprea is in custody awaiting trial in New Hampshire, the DOJ says.

Updated at 1:43 p.m. PT to include more details from the DOJ and to correct spelling of Oprea's name.