Federal authorities now say a recent Seattle cyber attack was a much bigger crime than first believed, reports Linda McGlasson, managing editor for BankInfoSecurity.com
. A U.S. Secret Service agent says more than 1,000 credit and debit cards may have been compromised.
The attack happened in late October, and the forensic trail leads overseas, officials say. Card data was stolen on Oct. 22 in a one-day attack by what authorities say for now was one hacker. The Seattle Capitol Hill area restaurant, Broadway Grill
, appears to be ground zero for the attack. Secret Service agent Bob Kierstead of the Seattle Electronic Crimes Task Force says the overseas hacker who was able to access the network through Broadway Grill's system appears to have been able to leapfrog from the restaurant's access to a critical server in the transaction process, where account information was available.
The scheme appears to involve the sale or distribution of the stolen account information to numerous individuals across the country, as well as in foreign countries. Those individuals then used the information to make purchases against the consumer accounts. Authorities early in the investigation speculated that an organized crime group was involved.