Albert Gonzalez of Miami, 28, believed by prosecutors to be one of the nation’s cybercrime kingpins, was indicted yesterday with two Russian accomplices on charges of committing the largest hacking and identity-theft caper in U.S. history, the Wall Street Journal reports. Federal prosecutors alleged the three masterminded a global scheme to steal data from more than 130 million credit and debit cards by hacking into computer systems of five major companies, including Hannaford Bros. supermarkets, 7-Eleven, and Heartland Payment Systems Inc., a credit-card processing company.
Detained in 2003, Gonzalez was an informant to the Secret Service before he allegedly commited even bolder crimes. Authorities have previously alleged he was the ringleader of a data breach that siphoned off more than 40 million credit-card numbers from TJX Cos. and others in recent years, costing the parent company of the TJ Maxx retail chain about $200 million. Mr. Gonzalez is in federal custody in Brooklyn, N.Y., awaiting trial for alleged efforts to hack into the network of the national restaurant chain Dave & Busters Inc.