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9 Major U.S. Retailers Hacked, Justice Dept. Says

NEW YORK -- The Department of Justice announced Tuesday that 11 people allegedly involved in the hacking of nine major U.S. retailers and the theft and sale of more than 40 million credit and debit card number have been charged.

The scheme is believed to represent the largest hacking and identity theft case ever prosecuted by the Department of Justice. The charges include conspiracy, computer intrusion, fraud and identity theft.

The indictment alleges that the people charged hacked into the wireless computer networks of major retailers including TJX Cos, BJ's Wholesale Club, OfficeMax, Boston Market, Barnes & Noble, Sports Authority, Forever 21 and DSW.
"While technology has made our lives much easier it has also created new vulnerabilities," said U.S. Attorney Michael J. Sullivan. "This case clearly shows how strokes on a keyboard with a criminal purpose can have costly results."

The indictment alleges that the hackers installed programs to capture card numbers, passwords and account information, and then concealed the data in encrypted computer servers that they controlled in Eastern Europe and the United States.

Three of the defendants are U.S. citizens, one is from Estonia, three are from Ukraine, two are from China and one is from Belarus. One individual is only known by an alias online, and his place of origin is unknown.

In the indictment returned Tuesday by a federal grand jury in Boston, Albert "Segvec" Gonzales of Miami was charged with computer fraud, wire fraud, access device fraud, aggravated identity theft and conspiracy.

Also Tuesday, indictments were unsealed in San Diego against Maksym "Maksik" Yastremskiy of Kharkov, Ukraine, and Aleksandr "Jonny Hell" Suvorov of Sillamae of Estonia. The indictments charge them with crimes related to the sale of the stolen credit card data.

Furthermore, indictments against Hung-Ming Chiu and Zhi Zhi Wang, both of China and a person known only by the online nickname "Delpiero" were also unsealed in San Diego on Tuesday.
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