The U.S. Justice Department revealed on Monday more than 130 million credit and debit card numbers have been stolen.
The scheme is believed to constitute the largest hacking and identity theft case ever prosecuted by the U.S. Department of Justice, federal prosecutors said in a statement.
These servers, located in New Jersey and around the world, were used by the coconspirators to store information critical to the hacking schemes and subsequently to launch the hacking attacks, prosecutors said.
Three men were indicted on charges of being responsible for five corporate victims including the Heartland Payment Systems, 7-Eleven Inc, Hannaford Brothers Co and two other unidentified companies.
Albert Gonzalez, 28, of Miami, and two unnamed Russian coconspirators targeted large corporations by scanning the list of Fortune 500 companies and exploring corporate websites before setting out to identify vulnerabilities.
The suspects would usually seek to sell the data to others who would use it to make fraudulent purchases, the statement said.