U.S. fraud led to theft of 130m card numbers

By UK CreditCards.com

U.S. credit card suspect caughtAmerican law enforcement officials have hit a suspected credit card fraudster with a range of charges for which he could see spend 20 years in jail.

Albert Gonzales, 26, is accused of perpetrating what is thought to be the biggest ID theft in American history.

In all, he is thought to have stolen around 130m card numbers with the help of two unnamed Russian accomplices.

The accusations also say that Mr Gonzales got the details by hacking into the databases of major US retailers, including the convenience store chain 7-Eleven.

According to the US department of justice, the specific method used to steal the details was an "SQL injection attack."

This involves a fraudster gaining access to a database and inserting a new piece of code in order to get information.

Talking about the case to the BBC today, fraud investigator Edward Wilding said that the theft could have involved "extremely well researched, especially configured codes," rather than the "standard attack codes" commonly downloaded by hackers from websites.

Overall rates of fraud rose by 16% over 2008, recent figures from CIFAS have shown.

Published: 20 August 2009