Hackers "sniff" credit card numbers in largest id theft in history

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Over 40 million credit, debit cards were hacked

PHOENIX - According to federal prosecutors more than 40 million credit and debit card numbers were stolen from popular retailers and restaurants.

The fraud reportedly took place all across the United States and it is being called the largest identity theft case in U.S. history.

The alleged criminals sat outside with a laptop waited for customers to make a purchase before using a so-called "sniffer" program to get into a store's wireless network. This took place outside of stores such as Office Max, DSW, Barnes & Noble, Sports Authority, Forever 21, TJ Maxx and Boston Market.

The hackers allegedly then stored the stolen numbers on magnetic strips of blank cards and used them to draw tens of thousands of dollars from ATM machines.

Eleven people from at least five different countries are now facing charges for their involvement in the massive international scheme.