Federal Informer Was Behind Massive Credit Card Theft

Multinational gang stole 45M credit card numbers from US retailers
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 12, 2008 8:40 AM CDT
A branch of T.K. Maxx,, Friday March 30, 2007. Hackers stole the bank card details of millions of T.K Maxx shoppers in what is thought to be the world's biggest ever credit card heist.    (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
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(Newser) – Federal agents struggling to crack the biggest data-theft ring in history discovered that one of their own informants was orchestrating the syndicate's US operations, the New York Times reports. The supposedly reformed hacker had turned Secret Service informant to escape a prison sentence in 2003 but secretly continued his criminal activities.

Authorities zeroed in on the hacker, who they now believe used his position as an informant to tip off criminals about investigations, after discovering an email address of his—which included the moniker "soupnazi"—on the seized hard drive of the Ukrainian member of the ring. The man and 10 cohorts from around the world have been charged with stealing more than 40 million credit and debit card numbers from nine major US retailers.