The United States has charged four Russian nationals and a Ukrainian with stealing and selling at least 160 million credit and debit card numbers in what prosecutors call the biggest hacking and data breach case in the country.
Federal prosecutors said on Thursday: “The defendants and their co-conspirators penetrated the secure computer networks of several of the largest payment processing companies, retailers and financial institutions in the world, and stole the personal identifying information of others, such as user names and passwords.”
Vladimir Drinkman of Russia is in custody in the Netherlands. Dmitriy Smilianets, another Russian, is in custody in the US. The other three people involved in the case are at large, according to the New York Times.
Paul Fishman, the United States attorney for the District of New Jersey said at a news conference in Newark that the losses caused by the hacking amounted to hundreds of millions of dollars.
Heartland Payment Systems, one of the world’s largest credit and debit processing companies; and the French retailer Carrefour are among the victims of the hacking.
Aleksandr Kalinin of Russia has succeeded to penetrate into the servers used by the Nasdaq stock exchange from November 2008 through October 2010 and by installing malware on the servers, had deleted, changed and stolen data.