How big can a theft be? 100s of credit card no.s and total amount of millions? Wrong. Today, this theft is much bigger than any one has ever seen. 130 Million Credit card numbers, a total theft that when mis-used can lead to multi-billion theft.
A Miami based person and two Russian guys are being indicted to be guilty for stealing 130 million credit card numbers, the largest identity theft in history. That’s alot — like, one for every housing unit in the United States. How did they do it?
The theft had been living over years of work. This historic theft involved five corporate data hackings, between 2006 and 2008, including Heartland, Hannaford, 7-Eleven and two unnamed companies, according to Channel Web. US investigators say the team scanned lists of Fortune 500 companies and learned about their checkout counter machines (also known as point-of-sale (POS) systems).
Then to take the hack further, they wrote specific codes to corrupt their data systems and launch a virus from computers in the United States and Europe to pull hundreds and thousands of credit card numbers, and sort through them using a “sniffer,” which is basically a data analysis system that decodes big chunks of information.
How much damage could these kind of hackings do? The group leader is already being prosecuted for stealing another 40 million credit card numbers from TJ Maxx and Marshall’s retailers, in a plot that has allegedly cost the companies about $400 million, according to the Washington Post.
For those interested in reading about how companies like 7-11 and Heartland Payment Systems (Slogan: “The Highest Standards; The Most Trusted Transactions”) PC World has some interesting thoughts here.