Albert Gonzales of Miami might never have thought it, but he’s making history. The 38-year-old, along with two unnamed Russians, has been charged with the largest identity theft in history – stealing data from 130 million credit and debit cards.
The Department of Justice alleges that Gonzales used an SQL injection attack to breach firewalls and steal the information. His targets included 7-Eleven, Hannaford Brothers, and card payment processor Heartland Payment Systems. Two other companies are mentioned but not named.
The stolen data was sent to servers in California and Illinois, as well as to Latvia, Holland and the Ukraine from where it could be sold.
In a statement, Acting U.S. Attorney Ralph J. Marra, Jr. said:
"This investigation marks the continued success of law enforcement in tracking down cutting edge hacking schemes committed by hackers working together across the globe."
When charged, Gonzales was already in jail, charged with hacking into the computers of several companies and stealing details of over 40 million credit and debit cards.
If found guilty on the new charges, Gonzales and the others face 35 years in jail, as well as fines of $1 million or twice the proceeds they made.
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