Federal prosecutors accused a US man of stealing 130 million credit card numbers. The charge filed on Monday is said to be the biggest case of identity theft in US history.
Albert Gonzalez, 28, the prime accused of the case, is already facing a charge of theft of 40 million credit card numbers. According to the prosecutors Gonzalez broke his own record by swiping 130 million card numbers on top of the 40 million card numbers he stole previously. Prosecutors, however, said that the cycle ended when he was sent to jail for on charges filed previously.
The irony is that Albert Gonzalez is a former informant of the US Secret Service who helped the government hunting down hackers. In this process he was caught up in the process of unethical hacking himself, and ended up helping the hackers with information regarding on going investigations.
According to the indictment, Gonzalez with two unnamed co-conspirators using “SQL injection attack” hacked into the payment systems of retailers including 7-Eleven Inc. and supermarket chain Hannaford Brothers. The stolen data was transmitted to servers operated at California, Illinois, Latvia, the Netherlands and Ukraine. The data was supposed to be sold at a later time to interested parties. The scheme began on October 2006, confirmed by the Justice Department.
Two different charges are filed against Gonzalez regarding the case – one for wire fraud and one for conspiracy. Gonzalez faces up to 20 years for the former and 5 years for the later, if convicted. He would also have to pay $250,000 for each cases.