Men indicted for largest data theft in US history

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Men indicted for largest data theft in US history

More than 130 million credit and debit cards stolen.

Three men, one US citizen and two Russians, have been indicted for the largest data theft in US history.

Albert Gonzalez - also known as "segvec", "soupnazi" and "j4guar17” - and two unnamed conspirators have been charged with conspiracy to illegally access computers and conspiracy to engage in wire fraud by the US Department of Justice (DOJ). Gonzalez is already in custody for the hacking of eight major retailers to steal the details of 40 million credit cards.

“This investigation marks the continued success of law enforcement in tracking down cutting edge hacking schemes committed by hackers working together across the globe,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Ralph J. Marra, Jr.

The trio used a SQL injection attack from proxy servers in California, Illinois, Latvia, the Netherlands and Ukraine to attack retail sites and took elaborate precautions to cover their tracks, such as testing their malware against 20 leading security vendor's software and constructing the attacking code which deleted data on its activities.

They stole information from 7-Eleven, Miami supermarket chain Hannaford Brothers and HeartlandPayment Systems among others. The DOJ said that the company's cooperation had been key to catching the three.

“When companies make the decision to work with law enforcement and disclose a data breach at the earliest possible opportunity, it provides the best chance at apprehending a hacker and demonstrates that those corporate victims will actively defend their systems,” Marra said.

The three now face 35 years in prison apiece, plus a substantial fine. It is not known if the two Russian team members have been arrested.

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