In New Jersey Thursday, the U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman announced the take down of a massive hacking operation. Federal agents arrested a gang of five hackers. Four Russians and one Ukrainian are charged. The men are accused of using specialized software to break into corporate networks and extract passwords and credit card numbers.
“The internet has changed the way people steal. It's changed their access to the money,” said U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman.
160-million credit and debit card numbers are believed have been stolen from 17 corporations. Such as 7-Eleven, JC Penney, Jet Blue and Dow Jones.
The hackers allegedly sold each card number for as little as $10.
“It used to be that if you wanted to steal money from a bank you had to walk into a bank with a gun. You can now steal 10 of millions of dollars with the click of a mouse,” said Fishman.
“Any website that's out there is prone to being attacked. Any website that offers a service is prone to being misused,” said Fresno Police Detective Doug Reese.
Detective Doug Reese is part of the Fresno Police Department's Financial Crimes Unit.
He says just as we all swipe our cards for a convenient way to purchase items, crooks sometimes compromise the machines to grab our account and pin numbers.
“Not much they can do about it, but they can keep an eye on their credit card statement or if they have online access they can go and check it once in a while to make sure there's no fraudulent charges on there,” said Det. Reese.
Detective Reese also recommends that everyone enable critical security features before browsing the internet.
“Make sure they have a firewall running on the computer and make sure to have a virus protector running on the computer,” said Det. Reese.
Detective Reese also says to be careful with peer-to-peer sites where you download files from people you do not know. A virus might be embedded in those files and could open a door to your personal information.
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