Hackers Indicted in Theft of 130M Credit Cards

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 17, 2009 4:17 PM CDT
A Hannaford Supermarket in Saco, Maine.   (AP Phot)
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(Newser) – Federal prosecutors indicted three hackers in Washington today for allegedly snagging more than 130 million credit card numbers from retail and financial organizations, the Wall Street Journal reports. Calling it the greatest US debit- and credit-card data theft ever, feds hit Albert Gonzalez, 28, of Miami, and two accomplices with charges of conspiracy and conspiracy to engage in wire fraud.

According to prosecutors, the victims included 7-Eleven, Hannaford Brothers supermarkets, and apparel chain TJX, which lost more than 40 million credit card numbers. The thieves allegedly used sophisticated techniques to bypass firewalls and anti-virus programs, then hid the numbers on servers in California and abroad. Gonzalez, who was already jailed on other hacking charges, faces up to 25 years and a $500,000 fine.