Indictments Unveiled In Major Data Breach

National Journal
Retrieved 25 Aug 09
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Indictments Unveiled In Major Data Breach

Two Russians and a Florida man were charged Monday in what the Justice Department said was the largest alleged credit card and debit card breach ever. The indictment names 28-year-old Albert Gonzalez of Miami, Fla., and two unnamed co-conspirators based in Russia with hacking New Jersey-based Heartland Payment Systems, Texas-based 7-Eleven, and the Maine-based Hannaford Brothers supermarket chain. They allegedly stole data pertaining to more than 130 million credit and debit cards, officials said.

In the two-count indictment alleging conspiracy and conspiracy to engage in wire fraud, Gonzalez, AKA “segvec,” “soupnazi” and “j4guar17” and the two others are charged with using a sophisticated hacking technique called an “SQL injection attack,” which seeks to exploit computer networks by finding a way around the network’s firewall to steal sensitive information. Gonzalez had previously been charged with swiping data related to 40 million credit cards from retailers including TJ Maxx.

The indictment alleges that beginning in October 2006, Gonzalez and his co-conspirators researched the credit and debit card systems used by their victims; devised a sophisticated attack to penetrate their networks and steal credit and debit card data; and sent that data to computer servers they operated in California, Illinois, Latvia, the Netherlands and Ukraine. If convicted, Gonzalez could face up to 20 years in prison for wire fraud conspiracy and an additional five years on the conspiracy charge, as well as a hefty fine. Gonzalez is currently in federal custody, DOJ said.

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