Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Capital Business
Capital Business

World

11 charged with theft of 40 million credit cards

WASHINGTON, August 6  – Eleven people have been indicted in Boston for stealing and selling some 40 million credit and debit card numbers they obtained by hacking into the computers of nine major US retailers, the US Justice Department said.

In what the department believes is the largest hacking and identity theft case it has ever prosecuted, the stolen numbers were sold via the Internet to other criminals in the US and Eastern Europe and used to withdraw tens of thousands of dollars at a time from ATMs.

The eleven defendants include three US citizens, three from Ukraine, two from China, one from Belarus, one from Estonia and one whose place of origin is unknown, the department said in a statement.

The indictment was returned Tuesday by federal grand juries in Boston, Massachusetts, and San Diego, California.

It alleges that the 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, they installed "sniffer" programs that captured card numbers, as well as password and account information.

The indictment alleges that after they collected the data, the conspirators concealed the data in encrypted computer servers that the defendants controlled in Eastern Europe and the United States.

From there, the stolen numbers were "cashed out" by encoding card numbers on the magnetic strips of blank cards, and then used to extract cash from ATMs, the Justice Department said.

The defendants were allegedly able to conceal and launder their fraud proceeds by using anonymous Internet-based currencies both within the United States and abroad, and by channeling funds through bank accounts in Eastern Europe, it added.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

"So far as we know, this is the single largest and most complex identity theft case ever charged in this country," said US Attorney General Michael Mukasey.

"While technology has made our lives much easier it has also created new vulnerabilities," said US Attorney for the District of Massachusetts Michael Sullivan.

"This case clearly shows how strokes on a keyboard with a criminal purpose can have costly results. Consumers, companies and governments from around the world must further develop ways to protect our sensitive personal and business information," he added.

Click to comment
Advertisement

More on Capital Business

Executive Lifestyle

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 12 – The country’s super wealthy individuals are increasing their holding of bonds, gold and cash, a new report by Knight...

Ask Kirubi

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 9 – Businessman and industrialist Dr. Chris Kirubi has urged members of the public to exercise extreme caution when making any...

Ask Kirubi

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 24 – Businessman and industrialist Dr. Chris Kirubi is set to own half of Centum Investment Company PLC, following a go-ahead...

Headlines

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 18 – Commercial Banks have been ordered to provide relief to borrowers on their personal loans, with loans eligible from March...

Ask Kirubi

It is without a doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has caught the whole world by surprise. Although its full impact is yet to be...

Kenya

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun17 – Kenya’s tea leaves manufacturer Kericho Gold, has been awarded the Superbrands Seal by Superbrands East Africa for their quality variety...

Coronavirus

NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 13 – As the local telecommunications industry gears up to roll out 5G networks in the country, the Communications Authority of...

Coronavirus

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 22 – Airtel Kenya is offering free internet access for students in order to enable continued learning at home in the...