Credit Card Heist

Banks, credit card companies, and major businesses take large measures to protect themselves against cyber attacks. Still, very little stops the best of hackers from infiltrating and getting around the most sophisticated technology.

“The hacker underground has developed various weapons in cyber space that allow them to bypass encryption and thus get into these systems and steal your funds. The average loss associated with a cyber heist is $1.3 million – compared to the average bank robbery in the physical world where you have a gun or a weapon, is only $6,000 to $8,000,” says financial security expert Tom Kellermann.

Cyber robbery is a criminal industry with staggering rewards. In 2005, a Miami-based hacker made history by pulling off one of the biggest online bank heists of all time. But he’s far less known than the likes of Bonnie and Clyde or Billy the Kid. Hacker Albert Gonzalez would drive through Miami’s shopping districts, hacking into store’s wireless networks. He wasn’t sealing their money – he was fishing for credit card numbers, and he’d struck the mother load.

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Still on the FBI’s Wanted List

Years prior to the existence of a Russian Business Network, a small Internet Service Provider hosted in a neighborhood basement in Ohio earned the bad boy rep as the first black-hat hosting company. This ISP was an asylum for hackers and packet monkeys to attack an unsuspicious internet. Foonet hosted clients including Carder Planet — the staunch “carder forum” for credit card hackers — and its IRC (Internet Relay Chat) servers were home to where legendary German hacker Axel “Ago” Gembe managed his Agobot network of Windows boxes that he had gained control over.

Following two raids by the FBI, in 2004, Foonet’s founder and some of the staff were charged for this infamous DDoS-for-hire scheme that simultaneously shook Amazon.com and the Department of Homeland Security. To add the craziness of this case, the owner of Foonet, Saad Echouafni, missed out on $750,000 in order to escape the FBI. He still remains on the “wanted list” today.