Monday, August 17, 2009

Three Indicted in Largest Corporate Identity Theft Case in History

Federal Authorities indicted three men in New Jersey in a massive identity theft case that the Justice Department is labeling as the largest in American history. Albert Gonzalez of Miami, 28, is charged with acting with two unnamed conspirators to locate large corporations and steal vital account information in a crime that the Department of Justice calls "the single largest hacking and identity theft case ever prosecuted."

Authorities say more than 130 million credit and debit card numbers were stolen in a corporate data breach involving three different corporations and two individuals. The card numbers, along with additional account information, were allegedly stolen from Princeton-based Heartland Payment Systems; 7-Eleven Inc., a Texas-based convenience store chain and Hannaford Brothers Company, a Maine-based supermarket chain. The indictment also mentions two other unidentified corporate victims as being hacked by the co-conspirators.

According to the Justice Department, the suspects used 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 credit card and debit information." According to the two-count indictment alleging conspiracy and conspiracy to engage in wire-fraud, beginning in October 2006, Gonzalez and the others would seek out Fortune 500 companies and attempt to identify potential vulnerabilities in their computer systems.

After reconnaissance of the computer systems was completed, information would be uploaded to servers which served as hacking platforms. Once the information was discovered, it was stolen from the corporate servers and placed onto servers around the world controlled by the suspects. Upon the alleged theft of the data, Gonzalez, known online as "soupnazi," and his co-conspirators would seek to sell the data to others who would then use it to make fraudulent purchases, unauthorized withdrawals from banks and other identity theft schemes, the Justice Department said Monday.



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Who am I?

I am a law enforcement professional with over 35 years experience in both sworn and civilian positions. I have service in 3 different countries in both the northern and southern hemispheres.

My principal areas of expertise are: (1) Intelligence, (2) Training and Development, (3) Knowledge Management, and (4) Administration/Supervision.

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