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 $5.6 billion 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…
Although the security breach was closed on Friday after Best Western was alerted by the Sunday Herald, experts fear that information seized in the raid is already being used to pursue a range of criminal strategies.
The numbers get bigger every time we cover one of these stories.
If the basics of security practices aren’t in play 24/7, sooner or later the gate yawns open and crooks drive a truck into the vault!