By  on July 25, 2013

Federal prosecutors on Thursday charged five men with what is believed to be the largest hacking and data breach scheme ever prosecuted in the U.S.

According to the criminal indictment, the individuals targeted more than a dozen firms — including Carrefour SA, J.C. Penney Co. Inc., The Wet Seal Inc., the Nasdaq Stock Market, 7-Eleven, Visa Inc., Dexia Bank Belgium and Heartland Payment Systems — that resulted in the theft of more than 160 million credit card numbers and more than $300 million in losses. According to the indictment, the alleged scheme began in 2005 and continued until July 2012.

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