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Feds Arrest Hackers of TJX, Other Retailers in Huge Conspiracy Bust
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Written by Daniel   
Wednesday, 06 August 2008 12:06
Eleven perpetrators held responsible for online theft and sale of more than 40 million credit and debit cards

AUGUST 5, 2008 | 4:15 PM
By Tim Wilson
Site Editor, Dark Reading

Eleven perpetrators allegedly involved in the hacking of nine major U.S. retailers and the theft and sale of more than 40 million credit and debit card numbers have been charged with engineering the largest hacking and identity theft conspiracy ever prosecuted by the Department of Justice.

The case links several high-profile data breaches of the last two years -- including TJX Companies, BJ's Wholesale Club, Barnes & Noble, and Dave & Buster's -- to a single group of conspirators. (See TJX Breach Skewers Customers, Banks and Hackers Sniff Their Way Into Data From Restaurant Chain.)

The 11 suspects -- three from the U.S., three from Ukraine, two from China, one from Estonia, one from Belarus, and one who is known only by an online alias -- are charged with numerous crimes, including conspiracy, computer intrusion, fraud, and identity theft, federal officials said in an announcement today.

In an indictment returned today by a federal grand jury in Boston, Albert “Segvec” Gonzalez of Miami was charged with computer fraud, wire fraud, access device fraud, aggravated identity theft and conspiracy for his role in the scheme. Criminal information was also released today in Boston on related charges against Christopher Scott and Damon Patrick Toey, both of Miami.

The Boston indictment alleges that during the course of the sophisticated conspiracy, Gonzalez and his co-conspirators obtained the credit and debit card numbers by "wardriving" and hacking into the wireless computer networks of major retailers -- including TJX Companies, BJ’s Wholesale Club, OfficeMax, Boston Market, Barnes & Noble, Sports Authority, Forever 21, and DSW.

Once inside the networks, the suspects installed "sniffer" programs that captured card numbers, as well as password and account information, as they moved through the retailers’ credit and debit processing networks, federal officials said.

The indictment alleges that after they collected the data, the conspirators concealed the data in encrypted computer servers that they controlled in Eastern Europe and the United States. They allegedly sold some of the credit and debit card numbers via the Internet to other criminals in the U.S. and Eastern Europe.  [DarkReading...]   [Comments...]
 

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