The US Attorney General has revealed that 11 suspects have been charged in what he has labelled the biggest ID fraud in history.
Details of an estimated 40 million credit cards were stolen through Wi-Fi networks at TJ Maxx (TK Maxx in the UK) and Barnes & Noble stores in the US.
"This case highlights our increasing vulnerability to the theft of personal information," said US Attorney General Michael Mukasey.
"Cases like these send a clear message to those who might be tempted to abuse our computer networks to steal information and harm law-abiding people and businesses.
"If you do, we will track you down wherever you are in the world, we will arrest you, and we will send you to jail."
Right to be angry
The victims of the fraud case have a right to be angry, electronics security expert David Emm told TechRadar.
"People can certainly feel annoyed that, in this case, TJ Maxx has not been doing its job in keeping their details safe," said Emm –the Senior Technology Consultant at Kaspersky Lab.
"The victims can legitimately ask that their personal information is dealt with in a secure manner when they use their credit cards.
"The banking industry has recently put regulations in place that say the consumer has a responsibility to look after their personal security, and the other side of the coin is that the public should expect businesses to take a responsibility for that information as well."
Article continues below