Largest Financial Hack Ever
2013-07-29 0:00

By Ryan W. Neal | IB Times

5 Hackers Stole 160 Million Credit Cards, Hundreds Of Millions Of Dollars

Five Eastern European men were indicted Thursday for committing the largest financial hack ever. The five-man hacker crew -- four from Russia and one from Ukraine -- broke into more than a dozen corporations around the world and stole 160 million credit card numbers, usernames, passwords and more personal information over the course of seven years, resulting in the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars.

From 2005 to 2012, the hackers accessed private networks belonging to the Nasdaq stock exchange, Citibank, PNC Bank, Heartland Payment Systems, 7-Eleven, JCPenney, Hannaford Brothers and many more. They were eventually detected by a firm in New Jersey, and U.S. attorneys brought the case to the Department of Justice.

The hackers gained entry to networks through Structured Query Language injection attack. SQL is a language that manages data in a database, and the hackers identified vulnerabilities that gave them access and allowed to create permanent backdoors to the network. They also installed "sniffers" which identified, collected and stole sensitive data automatically. One attack on Global Payment Systems began in 2011 and resulted in more 950,000 credit cards stolen and $93 million lost.

The hackers sold the information at rates of $50 for European information and $15 for Canadian information. Apparently U.S. credit cards arenít worth as much, as the hackers only sold it for $10.


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