B1 Intermediate US 1331 Folder Collection
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(Image source: Wikimedia Commons) 

BY ALEX MALLIN 

Seven years, 160 million credit cards
and immeasurable losses. American prosecutors have indicted five members of a band of foreign
cybercriminals who one U.S. attorney says executed the largest data heist ever.

The group hacked into the servers of payment processing companies and stole customers'
personal data — including credit card numbers — in order to sell it. (Via CNBC)

The victims include some of the U.S.' biggest businesses: Nasdaq, 7-Eleven, Dow Jones, Visa
and J. C. Penney are just a few of the more than 17 companies that had their servers infiltrated.
(Via CRN) 
U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman says the current
tally on the amount of money lost sits at $300 million — and that's just from three
of the victim companies. 
"And that, by the way, is our conservative
estimate of the losses — the amount we've been able to confirm so far. ... The actual
loss figure may well be much, much higher." (Via ABC)

Attorneys in the case say the defendants used malware and sophisticated hacking methods
to mine customer data and then sell it on message boards. (Via WGCL)

Their customers would pay $10 for every American card, while European cards went for
$50 each. (Via The Christian Science Monitor) 
The five men indicted are from Russia and
the Ukraine, but only two of them are currently in custody. Fishman described them as patient,
saying they would sometimes stake out a company for months before attacking it.

They would then brag about their work over instant messaging, with one of the men saying
he had a Google Alert set up so he could read news stories about his exploits. (Via The
Washington Times) 
The alleged hackers could face up to 30
years in prison and a fine of $1 million just for the charge of wire fraud.

"If convicted, they will also be ordered to repay the victims for the losses they have
caused. And the losses in this case are staggering." (Via The Record)
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5 Hackers Indicted for 'Largest Data Heist Ever'

1331 Folder Collection
ESL published on October 17, 2014
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