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Three indicted in largest ID theft case

Three individuals face up to 105 years in jail between them if found guilty of stealing the details of 130 million credit and debit cards after hacking into the systems of a card payment processing company.

The US Justice Department described the hack as the largest identity theft case ever prosecuted. The three, if found guilty of hacking into the computer systems of Heartland Payment Systems, could be jailed for 35 years each.

In January, forensic investigators uncovered malicious software which compromised data that crossed the network at Heartland Payments Systems.

The number of credit card details exposed by the intrusion has not been disclosed, but Heartland handles around 100 million transactions a month for 250,000 US organisations.

The US Government believes the three indicted individuals were also involved in other data breaches between October 2006 and May 2008, according to the Washington Post.

A federal court in New Jersey heard how the government alleges the hackers took data from 130 million payment cards.

One of the accused, 28-year-old Albert Gonzalez of Miami, was indicted last year for his alleged role in the TJ Maxx data breach.

"This investigation marks the continued success of law enforcement in tracking down cutting-edge hacking schemes committed by hackers working together across the globe," said Ralph J. Marra Jr., acting US attorney for the district of New Jersey, according to the Washington Post.

The two other individuals accused are from Russia.


Picture: Rex Features


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