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US man ’stole 130 Million Credit Card numbers’

Published by onlines on January 2, 2010


A 28-YEAR-OLD Florida man has pleaded guilty to hacking into corporate computer networks and carrying out what US officials have described as the largest credit card theft in US history.

Albert Gonzalez, of Miami, pleaded guilty in US District Court in Boston yesterday to two counts of conspiracy to gain unauthorised access to payment card networks, the Justice Department said.

Gonzalez and two unidentified Russian co-conspirators were accused of stealing more than 130 million credit and debit card numbers from firms supporting major retail and financial organisations.

More than 250 financial institutions were affected including New Jersey-based card payment processor Heartland Payment Systems, 7-Eleven Inc and Maine-based supermarket chain Hannaford Brothers.

Gonzalez was accused of leasing servers to other hackers who used the platforms to store malicious software known as “malware” and launch attacks against corporate victims.

Gonzalez is facing between 17 and 25 years in prison.

Sentencing was scheduled for March 19.

Gonzalez pleaded guilty in September to charges in two other cases related to hacking of major US retailers including TJX Companies, BJ’s Wholesale Club, OfficeMax, Boston Market, Barnes and Noble, Sports Authority and the Dave and Buster’s restaurant chain.

Sentencing in those cases was set for March 18.

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