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BOSTON — Could a conspiracy of only 11 people have committed some of the most serious and sweeping card data thefts that have damaged CUs in the last three years?

That is what the U.S. Department of Justice alleged in indictments handed down in Boston yesterday. The indictments, which led to cases being filed in several jurisdictions, said that the 11, which included three U.S. citizens, three Ukrainian citizens, two citizens of the People’s Republic of China, one citizen of Belarus and one citizen of Estonia, hacked into the computer networks of at least eight retailers in the U.S. Once inside, the indictments allege, the conspirators installed “sniffer” programs to find consumers card data, including personal identification numbers, and move the date to the conspirators’ networks.

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