If legislators needed any more incentive to come up with
cybersecurity protections, they just got it.
The Justice Department Thursday indicted five men in New
Jersey for the largest data breach conspiracy ever, DOJ said, involving the
theft of more than 160 million credit card numbers and the reselling of that
and other info around the world, resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars
The breaches occurred over a seven-year period between 2005
and July 2012.
The hackers targeted "financial transactions, retailers
that received and transmitted financial data and other institutions with
information they could exploit for profit." They allegedly hacked into
corporate computers and stole log-ins, card numbers and personal data that they
resold for a few dollars apiece.
Targets of the hacks included NASDAQ, 7-Eleven, JCP,
Hannaford, Heartland, Wet Seal, JetBlue, and Dow Jones.
"Those who have the expertise and the inclination to break
into our computer networks threaten our economic well-being, our privacy, and
our national security," said U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman of the District of
New Jersey. "And this case shows, there is a real practical cost because
these types of frauds increase the costs of doing business for every American
consumer, every day. We cannot be too vigilant and we cannot be too
The men are all originally from Russia or Ukraine, Justice
DOJ said the losses included more than $300
million from just three of the corporate victims, and "immeasurable"
identity theft losses.