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18 August 2009, 09:31

US prosecution for theft of 130 million sets of credit card details

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Credit Cards In the largest ever data theft case in the USA, prosecutors have indicted a 28 year old cracker from Florida. According to the US Department of Justice, the man from Miami, said to have operated under the pseudonyms "segvec," "soupnazi" and "j4guar17", is accused of having stolen data for more than 130 million credit cards. From October 2006, together with two accomplices, he stole card numbers and names from computer systems belonging to a payment processing firm in New Jersey, the 7-Eleven convenience store chain and other national and local retailers.

The thefts are reported to have been carried out by exploiting SQL injection vulnerabilities to install spyware. The crackers are also reported to have developed sophisticated techniques for concealing their attacks and preventing them from being discovered by anti-virus software. The data stolen was then transferred to their own servers based in California and Illinois and to servers in Latvia, the Netherlands and the Ukraine.

The New York Times reports that the crackers selected their victims from the Fortune 500 list of the 500 highest grossing US companies. According to the paper, the two unnamed accomplices are Russians. The 28-year old accused is well known to the police. According to the Department of Justice, he was arrested in May last year for stealing data from a restaurant chain, for which he is scheduled to appear before a New York court in September. There is also another court case outstanding against him in Massachusetts. Following his first arrest in 2003, he has worked as an occasional informant for US agencies, including the secret service.

According to the Department of Justice, if convicted of conspiracy and wire fraud conspiracy, he faces up to 25 years in jail and fines totalling up to $500,000.


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