Hacker allegedly rips data from 130M credit cards

Albert Gonzalez, of Miami, Fla., is indicted for stealing data on a record number of credit and debit cards.

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By Terry Frieden and Jason Kessler, CNN

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NEW YORK (CNN) -- A Florida man already jailed on charges of hacking into major retail computer networks has been indicted a third time for allegedly stealing data on a record number of credit and debit cards.

The record broken with this latest alleged attack was previously set by the same suspect, law enforcement officials said.

The U.S. Justice Department said Albert Gonzalez, 28, of Miami, Fla., was indicted by a federal grand jury in New Jersey for allegedly stealing data involving more than 130 million credit cards used by customers of five retailers including the 7-11 chain.

Justice Department officials familiar with the case said they have no estimate of possible financial losses that could be linked to the credit-card data theft, and declined to characterize or speculate on potential losses.

Federal prosecutors in New Jersey apparently will have to wait in line to try him, though.

Gonzalez is currently in jail in Brooklyn, New York, awaiting trial there next month for his alleged role in hacking into computers for the Dave and Buster's restaurant chain.

He also has been indicted in Boston, Mass., along with several co-conspirators, on charges stemming from hacking into the data bases of at least eight major retailers, and stealing data related to 40 million credit cards. Then-Attorney General Michael Mukasey said in that indictment announced a year ago that the computer crime involved what was then a record number of credit cards. Gonzalez is scheduled to go on trial on those hacking charges next year.

Corporate victims in the Massachusetts case included T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, BJ's Wholesale Club (BJ, Fortune 500), OfficeMax (OMX, Fortune 500), Barnes & Noble (BKS, Fortune 500) and Sports Authority.

In the New Jersey case, the indictment charges that Gonzalez, operating under a series of computer aliases including "soupnazi," managed to exploit computer networks beginning in 2006 by circumventing firewalls to steal the credit card information.

Prosecutors said Gonzalez is charged along with two co-conspirators identified only as "Hacker 1 and Hacker 2 both of Russia." They allegedly moved the data to computer servers operating in California and Illinois, and overseas in Latvia, the Netherlands and Ukraine.

Acting U.S. Attorney Ralph Marra in Newark said in a statement, "The servers were used to store information critical to the hacking schemes and to subsequently launch the hacking attacks."

"The charges announced today relate to a different pattern of hacking activity that targeted different corporate victims and involved different co-conspirators," the Justice Department said in a statement issued Monday in Washington.

If convicted on the New Jersey indictment Gonzalez could face up to 20 years on wire fraud conspiracy and five years for a separate conspiracy count. He could also be fined up to $500,000. To top of page

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