11 Arrested in Nation's Biggest Case of Hacking and Identity Theft

Contributing Writer
Updated

The U.S. Department of Justice yesterday announced the apprehension of 11 individuals involved in what is believed to be the largest case of hacking and identity theft ever prosecuted by the Department.

The eleven individuals allegedly involved in the hacking of nine major U.S. retailers, theft and sale of over 40 million credit and debit card numbers are faced with charges of conspiracy, computer intrusion, fraud and identity theft.

The accused come from various different countries around the world including the U.S., Estonia, People’s Republic, Belarus and the Ukraine. The group allegedly hacked into the networks of numerous major retailers (TJX Companies, OfficeMax, Barnes & Noble, Sports Authority and Forever 21 to name a few) and installed programs designed to gather up credit card numbers along with passwords and account information.

According to the Department of Justice the conspirators concealed the data in encrypted computer servers and allegedly sold some of the credit and debit card numbers to people in both the United States and Eastern Europe. They encoded the stolen numbers onto blank cars and used these counterfeit cards to withdraw tens of thousands of dollars at a time from ATMs.

The group are thought to have concealed and laundered their fraud proceeds by using anonymous Internet-based currencies both within the United States and abroad, and by channeling funds through bank accounts in Eastern Europe.

The indictments name Albert Gonzalez, Christopher Scott and Damon Patrick Toey (Miami), Maksym Yastremskiy (Ukraine), Aleksandr Suvoro (Estonia), Hung-Ming Chiu and Zhi Zhi Wang (People’s Republic of China), Sergey Pavolvich (Belarus) and Dzmitry Burak and Sergey Storchak, both of Ukraine. The last of the eleven is known only by the screen name “Delpiero.”