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protect yourself against credit card fraud, Albert Segvec Gonzalez

U.S. Officials Nab 11 in Connection with Credit Card Fraud Ring

August 06, 2008 05:13 PM
by Anne Szustek
More than 40 million credit and debit card numbers were swiped by a global theft syndicate that encompassed at least nine American retail chains.

Federal Government Busts Identity Theft Ring

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Department of Justice officials said Tuesday that three Americans were among 11 people charged with theft, conspiracy, computer intrusion and illegal sale of credit card data. The remaining eight included citizens of Estonia, Belarus, China and the Ukraine. One accomplice known by the alias “Delpeiro” has not been found.
The Justice Department is calling it “the largest hacking and identity theft case the department has ever prosecuted,” according to NPR.
Miami resident Albert “Segvec” Gonzalez, according to a grand jury indictment, drove around the Miami area searching for unlocked Wi-Fi networks, allegedly hacking into the computer systems of BJ’s Wholesale Club in 2003. One of Gonzalez’s suspected co-conspirators broke into the customer data of TJX, which owns T.J. Maxx and Marshalls. Officials say that the group allegedly installed a program that showed TJX customer credit card data in real time.
TJX disclosed in March 2007 that hackers broke into its systems in July 2005 to mine some 45.7 million credit card numbers. According to company statements, a group of hackers first broke into records in July 2005, accessing transaction data spanning from January to November 2003. The company said that many of the credit cards had expired by that point, and that employees had already “deleted much of the transaction data in the normal course of business between the time of the breach and the time that TJX detected it, making it impossible to know how many total cards were affected,” writes the Associated Press.
An undetermined number of cards were accessed for transactions spanning from November 2003 to June 2004.

The Secret Service made Gonzalez a confidential informant following his arrest by the organization in 2003.

The defendants allegedly hacked into security systems at a number of other retailers, including Barnes & Noble, OfficeMax, Forever 21, Sports Authority, Boston Market and DSW, The Washington Post reports.
“Cases like this send a clear message to those who might be tempted to abuse our computer networks to steal information and harm law-abiding people and businesses. … We will track you down … we will arrest you, and we will send you to jail,” U.S. Atty. Gen. Michael Mukasey said.

Reference: Identity theft

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