The first arrests in the Heartland Payment System data theft case occurred over the weekend.
The US secret service have arrested three people, Timothy Julsaint Johns (aged 21), Jeremy A. Frazier (aged 20) and Tony Acreus (aged 20).
All three were arrested in Florida using credit cards containing details stolen from Heartland Payment. The three men arrested are not main players in this crime, but people who probably bought the details, either off those who stole the details or through one or two intermediaries.
The individuals concerend where filmed in Walmart, using the credit cards, which were actually Visa Gift Cards, loaded with the stolen details. The use of gift cards reduces the traders suspicion or ability to ask for ID, as these types of cards are not registered to anyone and can be bought in shops and given as gifts.
So far over 210 institutions have been effected by this massive breach, and this number will no doubt rise over time.
The arrests of three men is unlikely to effect the nature of the damage or the pace of the investigation, but it could provide a good lead. By interviewing/interrogating the three offenders, combined with examination of their computers it, hopefully, will show how the three men produced the visa gifts cards, who they are communicating with to get the card details, and possibly even a money trail – i.e who they paid for the credit card numbers.
No doubt the final trail will lead to Eastern Europe, and nothing more can be done there. But, by stopping trade in the West will limit the effect of, or demand for, these credit card thefts.