August 18, 2009

The hackers at the heart of the Heartland Payment Systems data breach are finally getting their just desserts.

According to The Wall Street Journal, American Albert Gonzalez and two Russian accomplices were indicted in federal district court in New Jersey on charges that they carried out the largest hacking and identity-theft caper in U.S. history.

Federal prosecutors think the trio was behind a global scheme that saw the theft of over 130 million credit and debit cards by hacking into the computer systems of five major companies, including Hannaford supermarkets, 7-Eleven and Heartland Payment Systems.

Seth Kosto, an assistant U.S. attorney in New Jersey who specializes in computer fraud, told the Journal that Gonzalez is "a very important player in a sophisticated ring that has real results at the street level of bank, retail, debit- and credit-card fraud."

Gonzalez is no stranger to the world of the cyber underground, as he was previously convicted of such crimes and turned informant to the Secret Service, says the Journal.

For more, see Arrest in Epic Cyber Swindle.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR