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Federal prosecutors charged a Miami man in the largest-ever case of debit and credit card data theft in the nation.
Albert Gonzales, 28, and two unnamed Russian conspirators were charged with identity theft by hacking into retail networks, including those owned by the Hannaford Brothers Co. supermarket chain and convenience store chain 7-Eleven, Inc., beginning in October 2006.
Gonzales is charged with attempting to steal data from 130 million accounts, according to a report by The Associated Press.
Gonzales, already in jail awaiting trial in another hacking case, was charged with conspiring with the two other suspects to steal the private information.
Prosecutors said Gonzales, who is known online as “soupnazi,” also targeted customers of Heartland Payment Systems, a New Jersey-based card payment processor, according to the report.
Gonzales is awaiting trial in New York for allegedly helping hack restaurant chain Dave & Buster’s computer network. He faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted of the new charges, the AP reported.
Gonzales allegedly created a way to enter the computer networks, steal the card data and send it to computer servers in California, Illinois, Latvia, the Netherlands and Ukraine.
According to the new indictment and The New York Times, Gonzalez and his conspirators reviewed lists of Fortune 500 companies to decide which corporations to target and visited the stores to see which payment systems were used. The online attacks took advantage of flaws in the SQL programming language, which is commonly used for databases.