Three indicted in identity theft scheme

August 18, 2009 7:36:50 AM PDT
In the highly sophisticated scheme, the accused have been charged with stealing more than 130 million credit and debit card numbers from five big companies, including 7-Eleven, and the Hannaford supermarket chain.According to the Department of Justice, Albert Gonzalez, 28, of Miami, Fla., along with two unnamed accomplices, targeted large corporations by scanning Fortune 500 companies and corporate websites. When a potential victim was picked, the men would get the information they needed by tracking the them physically and online. Then the information would be uploaded to servers in New Jersey and around the world where they could then launch hacking attacks.

Prosecutors say Gonzales, who is also known online as "soupnazi," also targeted Heartland Payment Systems, a New Jersey-based card payment processor. Gonzales is awaiting trial in New York for allegedly helping hack the computer network of the national restaurant chain Dave and Buster's.

The indictment also charges that Gonzales and his co-conspirators used sophisticated hacker techniques to cover their tracks and avoid detection.

Last year, the Justice Department announced additional charges against Gonzales and others for hacking retail companies' computers for the theft of approximately 40 million credit cards.

At the time, that was believed to be the biggest single case of hacking private computer networks to steal credit card data.


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