The Department of Justice (DoJ) has charged 11 people in connection with the hacking of 9 major retailers and the theft & sale of more than 41 million credit & debit card numbers (the breach figure many times more than this). This is the largest hacking and identity theft ring that the DoJ has prosecuted and is the result of 3 years worth of undercover investigations.
The eleven people being prosecuted, including the US Secret Service informant, have been charged with conspiracy, computer intrusion, fraud and identity theft. Three of those charged are US citizens, while the others are from Estonia, Ukraine, China, and Belarus.
The indictment returned on August 5th by a federal grand jury in Boston alleges that the suspects hacked into the networks of TJX Companies, BJ’s Wholesale Club, OfficeMax, Boston Market, Barnes & Noble, Sports Authority, Forever 21 and DSW. Once there, the indictment alleges they installed “sniffer” programs to capture card numbers, passwords and account information. Some of the numbers were used for personal gain, while others were sold and then used to cash out large sums of money. The total dollar amount of the theft is “impossible to quantify”, but is in the multi-million-dollar range. The TJX breach alone has caused severe losses to the company.
“So far as we know, this is the single largest and most complex identity theft case ever charged in this country,” said Attorney General Mukasey. “It highlights the efforts of the Justice Department to fight this pernicious crime and shows that, with the cooperation of our law enforcement partners around the world, we can identify, charge and apprehend even the most sophisticated international computer hackers.”
The United States Secret Service and the Department of Justice has worked with the governments and police forces in Estonia, Ukraine, China, and Belarus to investigate, apprehend and prosecute the individuals allegedly associated with these crimes.
Read more from the DoJ release here.
Via huffington post, CNN, PC World (2) Tags: department of justice, doj, identity theft, id theft, tjx, tjx breach, fraud, hacking, prosecution