Ars: The largest instance of consumer data theft on record occurred in 2007, perpetrated by a cabal of hackers who used the poorly secured wireless network of a Marshalls store to digitally infiltrate the massive customer database housed at the company's corporate headquarters. One of the 11 suspects charged with carrying out the scheme has pleaded guilty to the crime and is scheduled to be sentenced in December.
The TJX heist was part of a WiFi crime spree that also targeted Barnes and Noble, OfficeMax, and other unidentified retailers. The crooks stole over 40 million credit card numbers and a large volume of other customer data, including social security numbers. They used a laptop and directional antenna to crack the WEP encryption used by the retailers.