A Group of Hackers, Four Russians and a Ukrainian allegedly broke computer networks of more than a dozen major American and international corporations and stole 160 million credit card numbers over the course of seven years, the largest data theft case ever prosecuted in the U.S.
They are accused of stealing usernames and passwords, personal identification information, and credit and debit card numbers. After stealing data, they sold it to resellers, who then sold it through online forums or to individuals and organizations.
Since at least 2007, officials said the hackers have been infiltrating computer networks across the globe, including firms in New Jersey, where the first breach was detected. The group would then allegedly install "sniffers" within the networks to automatically obtain electronic data from tens of thousands of credit cards.
The network allegedly charged $10 for American credit card information, $50 for European information and $15 for Canadian data.
The defendants were identified as Russian Vladimir Drinkman, Aleksander Kalinin, Roman Kotov and Dmitriy Smilianets, and Ukrainian Mikhail Rytikov.
All five are charged with taking part in a computer hacking conspiracy and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. The four Russian nationals are also charged with multiple counts of unauthorized computer access and wire fraud.
An attack on Global Payment Systems that begin in about January 2011 resulted in the theft of more than 950,000 cards and losses of about $93 million, according to the indictment.