The US authorities have charged 11 people in connection with the theft of credit-card details in the country’s largest-ever identity theft case.
They are accused of stealing more than 40 million credit and debit card numbers before selling the information.
They allegedly hacked into the computer systems of several major US retailers and installed software to access account details and passwords. Prosecutors said the alleged fraud was an “international conspiracy”.
Three of those charged are US citizens. The others come from Estonia, Ukraine, Belarus and China.
The 11 suspects are alleged to have obtained card numbers, account information and password details by driving around neighbourhoods and hacking into wireless equipment.
They are said to have then concealed the information in computer servers both in the US and Europe.
The Department of Justice said the scam caused “widespread” losses among banks, retailers and ordinary consumers – although it did not put a precise figure on the financial damage.
Source: BBC News