Eleven people alleged to have stolen the credit card details of up to 100 million shoppers, including customers of T.K. Maxx stores in Britain, have been charged in the biggest identity theft case in the US.
A virtual United Nations of criminal co-operation was revealed, with charges being laid against three Americans, three Ukrainians, two Chinese, an Estonian, a Belarussian and a suspect known only by his online name, Delpiero.
Security experts gave warning yesterday that many British retailers were unwilling to update their computer systems and were still unprepared for such attacks.
The suspected computer hackers are believed to have been led by a double-dealing US Secret Service informant in Miami, who is accused of continuing his criminal career even while helping authorities to pursue other cyber-criminals.
“So far as we know, this is the single largest and most complex identity theft case ever charged in this country,” Michael Mukasey, the US Attorney-General, said in Boston on Tuesday.