Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

Biggest I.D. theft scheme busted - Feds

130 million credit and debit card numbers said to be stolen in five alleged corporate data breaches. Three men indicted.

EMAIL  |   PRINT  |   SHARE  |   RSS
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)

Is stimulus helping you?
CNNMoney.com readers describe how President Obama's $787 billion stimulus package has helped them -- or hasn't.
When do you believe you will drive an electric vehicle such as the GM Volt?
  • As soon as they're available
  • In the next 5 years
  • Sometime in the future
  • Never
CDs & Money Market
MMA 0.26%
$10K MMA 0.24%
6 month CD 0.34%
1 yr CD 0.62%
5 yr CD 1.41%

Find personalized rates:

Rates provided by Bankrate.com.

NEW YORK (Reuters) -- U.S. authorities announced what they believed to be the largest hacking and identity theft case ever prosecuted on Monday in a scheme in which more than 130 million credit and debit card numbers were stolen.

Three men were indicted on charges of being responsible for five corporate data breaches in a scheme in which the card numbers were stolen from Heartland Payment Systems (HPY), 7-Eleven Inc. and Hannaford Brothers Co., federal prosecutors said in a statement.

The suspects also hacked two unidentified corporate victims, the U.S. attorney's office in New Jersey said in the statement.

Prosecutors allege Albert Gonzalez, 28, of Miami, and two unnamed Russian coconspirators targeted large corporations by scanning the list of Fortune 500 companies and exploring corporate Web sites before setting out to identify vulnerabilities.

The suspects would seek to sell the data to others who would use it to make fraudulent purchases, the statement said.

In one example, the suspects went to retail locations to identify the type of checkout machines, and after further investigation into the computer systems they uploaded information onto servers that worked as hacking platforms, the statement said.

"These servers, located in New Jersey and around the world, were used by the coconspirators to store information critical to the hacking schemes and subsequently to launch the hacking attacks," prosecutors said.

"The scheme is believed to constitute the largest hacking and identity theft case ever prosecuted by the U.S. Department of Justice," the statement said. To top of page

They're hiring!These Fortune 100 employers have at least 350 openings each. What are they looking for in a new hire? More
If the Fortune 500 were a country...It would be the world's second-biggest economy. See how big companies' sales stack up against GDP over the past decade. More
Sponsored By:
More Galleries
Black Friday 2015 in pictures Shoppers around the country braved the crowds to get their hands on the best Black Friday deals. More
Driving the ultimate in '50s Mercedes-Benz style The SC was the car that re-introduced Mercedes-Benz as a global luxury car icon. More
Driving the world's first car Driving a replica of the 1886 Benz Patent Motorwagen, the first internal combustion automobile. More
Worry about the hackers you don't know 
Crime syndicates and government organizations pose a much greater cyber threat than renegade hacker groups like Anonymous. Play
GE CEO: Bringing jobs back to the U.S. 
Jeff Immelt says the U.S. is a cost competitive market for advanced manufacturing and that GE is bringing jobs back from Mexico. Play
Hamster wheel and wedgie-powered transit 
Red Bull Creation challenges hackers and engineers to invent new modes of transportation. Play

Copyright 2009 Reuters All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.