[ISN] Revealed: 8 million victims in the world's biggest cyber heist

From: InfoSec News <alerts_at_private>
Date: Mon, 25 Aug 2008 04:17:28 -0500 (CDT)

By Iain S Bruce
Sunday Herald
August 24, 2008 

AN INTERNATIONAL criminal gang has pulled off one of the most audacious 
cyber-crimes ever and stolen the identities of an estimated eight 
million people in a hacking raid that could ultimately net more than 
2.8billion in illegal funds.

A Sunday Herald investigation has discovered that late on Thursday 
night, a previously unknown Indian hacker successfully breached the IT 
defences of the Best Western Hotel group's online booking system and 
sold details of how to access it through an underground network operated 
by the Russian mafia.

It is a move that has been dubbed the greatest cyber-heist in world 
history. The attack scooped up the personal details of every single 
customer that has booked into one of Best Western's 1312 continental 
hotels since 2007.

Amounting to a complete identity-theft kit, the stolen data includes a 
range of private information including home addresses, telephone 
numbers, credit card details and place of employment.

"They've pulled off a masterstroke here," said security expert Jacques 
Erasmus, an ex-hacker who now works for the computer security firm 
Prevx. "There are plenty of hacked company databases for sale online but 
the sheer volume and quality of the information that's been stolen in 
the Best Western raid makes this particularly rare. The Russian gangs 
who specialise in this kind of work will have been exploiting the 
information from the moment it became available late on Thursday night. 
In the wrong hands, there's enough data there to spark a major European 
crime wave."


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Received on Mon Aug 25 2008 - 02:17:28 PDT

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